Chili Cook-off on Oct. 14 to raise money for GF Library expansion

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Big things are cooking for the Green Forest Library.

The Friends of the Green Forest Library will host a Chili Cook-off on Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Green Forest Chamber of Commerce’s Fall Bazaar on the Square. Those wishing to enter their chili must register at the library before Saturday, Oct. 7. The winner with the best chili will receive up to $50 cash.

The entry fee is $5 for “all you can eat” chili with all the toppings and a drink. Chili will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Green Forest Square.

Library director Tiffany Newton said all proceeds will go to the Green Forest building fund for the library expansion.

“What we have planned for the expansion and renovation is this building that is just east of the current library,” she said. “We are planning on knocking a hole in the wall between the two sections so they are connected.”

The inside of the new section will be remodeled to serve as a children’s and teens’ space, Newton said, while the current children’s space will be remodeled to serve as an adult reading space.

“We are going to remodel it to be an adult space with comfortable chairs, newspapers and maybe even some coffee,” she said. “It will be a place for adults to have some peace and quiet to read.”

The expansion will increase the size of the library by about 40 percent, she said, and will include a new larger children’s space, a story time room, a teen only space and another restroom.

The bid for the expansion project is approximately $164,000, she said, and the library is lacking about $50,000 to finish the remodel.

“We have raised almost $100,000, and that has all been fundraising so far,” Newton said. “We do the chocolate-dipped strawberries around Valentine’s each year, and this is the third year for the chili cook-off. We do gift-wrapping in December and lots of little fundraisers.”

Every time the library receives a donation, she said, it goes into the building fund for the remodel. She said she is also looking into some grants to help fund the project.

Construction is expected to start before the end of 2017, Newton said.

“This has been a goal for years now,” she said. “I’ve been here for four years, and they told me when I was hired that my main goal was going to be the remodel. We’re excited to see construction get started.”

Newton said the library is still looking for people to compete in the Chili Cook-off. To register or for more information, call 870-438-6700 or email TNewton@GreenForestLibrary.org.

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