Online auction, gala to raise money for local libraries

The Long Beach Public Library Foundation announces the official opening of its 2009 “Grape Expectations” annual fundraising online auction, which is available now at www.lbplf.cmarket.com. Bidding is open until Saturday, June 20.
The site features nearly 250 unique and exciting items, including travel packages to London and Canada, Hummel and Waterford collectibles, special handmade jewelry and crafts, autographed books (signed by John Glenn, Bill Clinton and Margaret Thatcher to name a few) and much more.
About 90 items are available exclusively to online bidders, and nearly all the items feature a “buy it now” tool, which allows anyone to purchase a particularly favored item, even if they cannot attend the gala event on Sunday, June 28.
“Each year our online auction grows and reaches more people. Anyone with computer access has the opportunity to participate. It’s exciting to see bidders from as far away as New York and Florida purchasing items and donating money to help support our local Long Beach public library system,” says Sara Pillet, executive director of the Long Beach Public Library Foundation.
Tickets are still available for the gala event, which takes place at the Museum of Latin American Art and includes a five-course gourmet dinner. Tickets are $175 per person and $2000 for a Chardonnay Sponsorship (Table of Ten). VIP “wine taster” tickets (includes special recognition and a tour of the art gallery prior to the event) are also still available at $250 a person.
Noted local wine expert Randy Kemner, owner of The Wine Country, will introduce each expertly selected wine, specially chosen to complement each of the five delicious courses made by Sofia M. Riley of Long Beach’s TGIS Catering Services. Attendees will be served grilled corn and crab chowder; Mediterranean tower, tender breast of chicken stuffed with prosciutto, spinach and sundried tomatoes served over parmesan risotto, Venezuelan braised beef slow cooked with essence of cinnamon & red wine served over roasted garlic mashed potatoes, Jack Daniels chocolate cake served with bananas Foster and vanilla bean ice cream.
This year the Foundation will honor Diane Jacobus and her daughter, Dr. Nancy Kimber, with the coveted Durnin Family Award, which celebrates long-term support, both personally and financially, of the Long Beach Public Library Foundation. The Ackerman Family will receive the Library Leadership Award for their long-term partnership with the Foundation.
The nonprofit Long Beach Public Library Foundation works to supplement and support the efforts of the Long Beach Public Library. The proceeds from this event will support Long Beach Public Library foundation and library programs including the Family Learning Centers located at each of the city’s 12 libraries. Usage of the libraries continues to increase dramatically as more and more people are relying on the free services and resources the library has to offer during this economic crisis.

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