News & Events

VCB Supports Local Community Project

Virginia Commonwealth Bank (VCB), formerly First Federal Savings Bank of Virginia located in Petersburg has made a corporate contribution in the amount of $15,000 to support the construction of the new Petersburg Library. C. Frank Scott, III, president of VCB said  “I enjoyed going to the Petersburg Library when I was a child. I believe knowledge is the key to success in life. The resources available to the community’s children (and adults) in the new facility will enhance their learning experience, increase their knowledge of the community and the world at large, and enable them to be better prepared as they grow into consumers, employees, and leaders.” Scott was pleased to learn VCB’s gift would be matched dollar for dollar by the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation which means their gift leveraged an additional $15,000. VCB has served the citizens of Petersburg and surrounding areas since 1936.

 Left to Right: Bob Walker, Petersburg Library Foundation chairman of the Board; C. Frank Scott, III, president VCB, Wayne M. Crocker, director of Library services, City of Petersburg.  

Petersburg Library Foundation Receives $25,000 Matching Grant

Petersburg, VA – The Marietta McNeill Morgan and Samuel Tate Morgan, Jr. Foundation recently awarded the Petersburg Library Foundation (PLF) a one-for-one matching grant of $25,000 for the construction of a new central library.

 The Morgan Foundation makes grants to institutions and organizations in the Commonwealth of Virginia that qualify under regulations of the Internal Revenue Service as tax-exempt and that are operated exclusively for charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes. An Allocations Committee appointed by Bank of America, the Trustee, reviews requests and distributes income from the foundation. 

 “Matching grants are great for our donors because they see their gift immediately double (and sometimes triple) in size and a match helps leverage new dollars for the organization” said PLF’s Fund Development Officer Cheryl Collins. For every dollar raised The Morgan Foundation will match it with a dollar. In November of 2010 PLF received a $250,000 one-for-one matching grant from The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation and will be able to use The Morgan Foundation award towards their grant award.

Petersburg, Virginia is ranked number six out seven central Virginia communities with the lowest percentage of individuals age 25 plus with a high school degree or above. [1] Higher standards for academic achievement mandated by federal statutes warrant increased resources for youth that support the curriculum set forth in our schools, including technology, expanded reading collections and enrichment programs. 

 The three current library facilities located in Petersburg are inadequate and no longer have the capacity to serve the growing populations of Petersburg and the surrounding communities. The central library located at 137 South Sycamore Street, formerly a residential home, has served the citizens of Petersburg for the last 85 years. However, with one lower level meeting room that only seats 50, the library cannot support essential in-house programs and services to aggressively decrease the number of high school dropouts and increase the reading skills and love of reading and books for pre-kindergarten to ninth grade students. The Petersburg Public School System (PPSS) has recognized student retention is critical in school years grades six, seven and eight. If a student is to dropout it will be in the ninth year of school. With a larger space, the Petersburg Public Library System (PPLS) will be able to collaborate with PPSS and create after school programs to reduce the dropout rate. In addition, PPLS will be creating opportunities that encourage personal development, economic empowerment and workforce development. 

 To date PLF has raised $7,600,780 million dollars towards the campaign goal of $12,700,000. Current market conditions created a favorable opportunity for construction projects and contributed to the reduction of the 2009 stated goal of $16 million dollars

 The mission of this not-for-profit foundation is to ensure that the City of Petersburg has a superior library system having excellent facilities and providing quality resources and innovative sources to enhance education and cultural opportunities for its citizens. Visit to learn how to make a contribution to help PLF leverage this grant award. PLF will have one year to complete the match.

[1] The Cameron Foundation Health Needs Assessment; page 34

National Honor Society Club at ARGS Raises Funds for New Library

ARGS NHS Club Officers present check to benefit Petersburg Library – from left to right – Mr. Bob Walker –  Chairman of the Board of the Petersburg Library Foundation, Dr. James Victory – Executive Director of ARGS, Miss Meredyth Daniel – NHS Club Historian, Miss Shelby Floyd – NHS Club Secretary, Mr. Wayne Baylor – NHS Club Vice President, Miss Megan Tatum – NHS Club President, Mr. Wayne Crocker – Director of Library Services of the Petersburg Public Library, Mrs.  Cynthia Clark – NHS Club Sponsor, Ms. Cindy Morgan – Campaign Co-Chair and Publisher of Progress Index

ARGS NHS Club Officers – from left to right – Miss Meredyth Daniel – Historian, Miss Jasmine Baker – Treasurer, Miss Megan Tatum – President, Miss Shelby Floyd – Secretary, Mr. Wayne Baylor – Vice President, Mrs. Cynthia Clark – Club Sponsor/ARGS Librarian

Book, art event to help library effort

PETERSBURG – It only makes sense for one Old Towne businesswoman. What better way to raise money for a new library than selling books?

Kimberly Ann Calos, owner of Kimberly Ann’s boutique, is hosting a fundraiser this weekend at the Haase Open Door Gallery, a section of her shop on Sycamore Street. She has collected about 2,000 gently used books and artwork from various regional artists to sell. All of the book proceeds will go towards the Petersburg Library Foundation’s Capital Campaign, which is raising money to build a new 56,000-square-foot state-of-the-art library.

Also, a minimum of 30 percent of the art proceeds will go toward the library fund. Some artists have agreed to up that by 10 percentage points, so that 40 percent of their sales will go toward the library foundation.

Calos’ aim is to raise $10,000 through the “Art that Speaks Volumes” event. Calos figures she needs about 4,000 books, and the shop is accepting books until Saturday morning. But even if Calos doesn’t reach her fundraising goal, the event will still serve its purpose. “Even if it doesn’t raise a lot of money, it’ll raise awareness that we’re trying to raise more money,” Calos said.

Calos said she believes a new library would be good for downtown businesses, but mostly for citizens’ education. “When I was little, I read a book a day,” Calos said. She explained that while the current library is beautiful, it’s too cramped.

“This new library will not only help educate generations to come but it will serve as a conduit to bring patron traffic to support the downtown businesses. It’s important for businesses to be involved in the community as much as they can,” Calos said. “I just think [a new library] would make the community brighter,” she said.

The library group’s goal is to break ground on a new library by the end of the year, according to Cheryl Collins, the foundation’s fund development officer. The foundation has raised nearly $7.6 million in the past two years toward its goal of $12.7 million. The original goal was $16 million, but market conditions have made it cheaper to build.

The community effort to raise the money for a new library has also grown, according to Collins. The donor base has increased by 443, or 519 percent, since February 2009. Then, the library only had 23 donors.

Money raised at the weekend event will go toward a $250,000 matching grant from The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation. The grant was awarded in November 2010, and as of March 1 the library foundation has raised $158,107 toward the grant award, Collins said.

The idea for the book and art fundraising event came in December from another effort to raise money for the library. Calos attended the library foundation’s fundraising event at New Millennium Studios in December and felt bad that she didn’t have the money to donate to the library fund. So she pledged to hold a fundraiser at her shop. “I always make my promises good,” Calos said.

A few weeks later, she’s in the final planning stages of the event and has realized how difficult it is to acquire a significant amount of donated books. While the community has been very receptive to the idea, Calos said she still hasn’t reached the number of books she had hoped for.

The gallery sports walls of colorful and black-and-white framed artwork for purchase, and rows upon rows of novels. Most of the hardback books will be two for $5, while most of the softback books will be two for $1. Calos has some rare books to sell, as well, such as a 1936 copy of “Gone with the Wind.”

Collins said that Petersburg has a high unemployment rate, and the new library may help to lower that number. “In order for our local businesses to be able to hire local citizens, we need to be sure that we have the skilled labor so that they can become employed,” Collins said. “If we can be a part of enhancing the workforce development in this community, then that’s what we want to do.”

The proposed library at the corner of West Market and Washington streets will have a literacy center, which will be “a conduit for all of the literacy services in the area,” Collins said. It will hold literacy classes and provide a safe atmosphere where people can learn to read without distraction.

But in order for any of that to happen, the capital campaign must be completed. The weekend event not only benefits the library foundation, but helps literacy efforts, Collins said. “It was a genius idea,” Collins said. “It’s getting people to put books in their hands and then also benefiting the library.”

Patrons will be able to enjoy live music by Zach Artis and refreshments provided by Alexander’s, Blue Willow Tea Room, Brickhouse Run, Demolition Coffee and Maria’s Café, The Bistro at market and Grove and Wabi Sabi, according to the foundation.

“Art that Speaks Volumes” will be held at on Saturday, March 5 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 804-586-1633 or the Petersburg Library Foundation at 804-733-2387 ext. 30.

By Candace Sipos Progress-Index Staff Writer
Published: March 2, 2011

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