April 23, 2014 - By Meg Peters
Review Staff Writer
The Orion Township Public Library is sending local community members to virtual Rome to wine taste, dip into the culture and share in an unforgettable dining experience.
On Saturday, April 26 the flight sets off, but doesn't leave Orion Township. The Passport to Spring: Road to Rome Gala will be held at the library starting at 7 p.m. and end at 10 p.m. for all interested patrons.
The Friends of the Library are hosting the second annual passport to spring event in order to raise essential funding for upcoming literacy programs for both children and adults.
For $40, participants will experience fine Italian cuisine, live entertainment, "biblioteca bocce," wine tasting, a silent auction and a few special treats.
Tickets are available at the door, but can also be purchased online at www.oriontownshiplibrary.org or at the library circulation desk.
Funding from the previous gala supported events like the Lake Orion Schools Battle of the Books, an event that has occurred the last 30 years thanks to the Friends of the Library group and the Iron Chef Program for teens who created three dishes: an appetizer, entrée and dessert according to book trivia.
Patricia Warrick, a Friend of the Library, said the community's participation in the Passport to Spring event is vital to maintain these types of programs.
"We need the community to support the library by purchasing tickets, by telling their friends about it, and by joining us for a wonderful evening," Warrick said. "It is a perfect opportunity for our patrons to walk away from their routine and to transport themselves to Rome for a few hours."
Local restaurants, beauty salons, grocery stores, doctors, and other donators have provided food, gift cards, and other fancy items for the silent auction. Several baskets worth up to $600 will be auctioned off to lucky attendees. Warrick also expressed her gratitude to the many volunteers who made the event possible.
The second annual Passport to Spring will provide funding for many up and coming library events. The Library-wide Summer Reading Club Kickoff on Saturday, June 7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. offers fun activities, creative projects and food, and lasts until August 31. Funding for the gala helps provide the means for this event, and families can sign up at orionlibrary.org/summer-reading/.
Funding also supports the Myth Busters program for teens on July 26 at 2 p.m. where teens are given instructions, supplies, and a myth to bust.
Another summer event supported by the funding is the Found Object Trinket Necklace Workshop on Saturday, August 2 at 1 p.m. where participants will learn how to make a charm necklace and basic wire-wrapping skills from local artist Rena Hopkins.
The proceeds from the gala on April 26 will be used to fund a number of these events that would otherwise be eliminated due to budget cuts.
The Friends of the Library donated $20,000 to the library in 2013, and hope to topple that number with fundraising events in 2014.