Fox Chapel Area High School students raise more than $45,000 for Sharpsburg Community Library - FoxChapel

Fox Chapel Area High School students raise more than $45,000 for Sharpsburg Community Library

Tuesday, January 7, 2020 | 4:43 PM

Sharpsburg Community Library has bounced back from the threat of closing thanks in no small part to grassroots fundraising, leaders said.

Fox Chapel Area High School students in December joined the effort, donating more than $45,400 from the 30th annual telethon hosted just before the holiday break on Dec. 20.

“They have wonderful programs there,” Erin Butkovic, director of student activities, said. “I’m sure the younger kiddos use the library resources and I know our high school students are involved in supporting tutoring programs and STEM activities.”

Organized by the high school student government and digital media production students, the telethon is a full-day event that encompasses each of the six district campuses.

It is streamed live on YouTube and online donations are encouraged.

Students have brought in more than $900,900 over the last three decades to support various causes like the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Live Like Lou Foundation.

This year, they selected Sharpsburg Community Library because it serves adults and children with public computers, books, DVDs, storytimes, chess club and STEAM workshops.

A branch of the Cooper-Siegel Community Library in Fox Chapel, its financial struggles have been documented in recent years with leaders in 2018 cutting hours and saying significant measures were necessary to recover.

“Additional sustainable funding was needed to ensure the branch’s viability beyond the next few years,” Jill McConnell, executive director, said. “Recent efforts by community members and the telethon are helping to put the branch on much more solid financial ground.”

The money will be used to increase the budget for materials and plan for better use of the library’s space.

McConnell said the branch is expected to operate on a balanced budget in 2020, thanks to hardy work by volunteers.

“We were so excited to be selected as the telethon beneficiary,” she said. “It not only provided much-needed funds for the branch, but it also allowed us to highlight some of the invaluable people, programs and services that are found there.”