Milton and Trudy Staskal and Ron Steinhorst were awarded Lifetime Memberships by the Friends of the New London Library.
Lifetime memberships are given to those members of the Friends who donate $1,000 or more to support the library.
The awards were presented March by Library Director Ann Hunt, Friends Board Member Kathy Kelly, Friends Vice-President Dan Froding, Friends President Connie Zolkoske, and Friends Board Member Faye Wohlrabe.
Milt and Trudy Staskal and Steinhorst are members of the community who are known for their generosity of time and talent, and now dollars.
Steinhorst donated $19,000 in 2010 to kick start funding a new library. In 2011, he gave another $16,000 hoping to motivate others to give and to promote the vision of a new library.
Milt and Trudy heard about relocating the library across the street and the need for money to purchase the former Trophy Shop building to begin the library relocation process. They gave $10,000 to purchase the Trophy Shop. When they found out the owner of the former Denny’s grocery store wanted to sell, they donated $50,000 toward that building. Later, they added another $50,000 to help complete the purchase. They have donated a total of $110,000 to promote the building of a new library.
The Trophy Shop building is currently used for museum storage and a location for the Friends of the Library book sales held twice a year, while the Denny’s building is rented and provides a little income for the library.
Steinhorst, and the Staskals all feel that a library is extremely important to a community. Steinhorst feels it enhances the cultural aspects of the city. He sees the new library, on the site across the street, and the museum as “the gateway to New London.”
The museum will take over all the space in the current library/museum building once the new library is built. A library brings in $4 to the community for every dollar spent on the library, so it also has a great economic impact.
Milt Staskal feels that reading is a very basic skill.
“If you don’t have the ability to read…you don’t get very far in life,” he said.
The library is a community place, a work place, a place to learn new things and use new technology.
He is also of the opinion that there still is something very special about actually holding a book in your hands. A library is one of the building blocks of the life skills needed by everyone.
Steinhorst said that everyone must “think beyond today.”
The need for a new library with more room and spaces to allow the public to meet and learn is a necessity that the city of New London cannot do without, he said.