Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

October 14, 2011

Library to raise money with mini golf

— MIDDLEBURY — “Closed until spring” may be the sign on local mini golf courses, but Middlebury Community Library’s indoor 18-hole golf course will be open for business Saturday.

The fundraising event, lasting from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., is the brainchild of the Middlebury Community Enrichment Council. This newly formed council is made of up representatives from the town’s Friends of the Library, Friends of the Parks and the historical museum.

“The purpose of the council is to raise funds for the groups as well as to raise community awareness of the organization and to continue to enhance the quality of life here,” said Richard Smith, director of the museum.

This is the enrichment council’s first event and they are hoping it will be very successful.

“We wanted to have an event that is significant enough to utilize all of our resources, really get noticed, involve the community and financially help out these three very important groups,” Smith said.

Library mini golf may be the first for this area, but it comes to Middlebury through a company that specializes in the event. LibraryMiniGolf.com has been all over the country fundraising for libraries.

“Our technical services librarian, Barb Luebke, heard about the company at a conference,” said Library Director Terry Rheinheimer. “It seemed like a novel idea. She presented it to the group and they loved it.”

But it wasn’t enough for Rheinheimer and Luebke to hear about library mini golf second hand. They wanted to experience the event.

After keeping an eye on the website, they found a fundraiser nearby.

“We went to Downers Grove, Ill., and saw it first hand,” Rheinheimer said. “We were impressed. Of course the library was much larger than ours — with two floors.”

She explained that the first nine holes were upstairs with the next hole going down the staircase. The final eight holes were on the first floor.

“Library people are very generous and very willing to share ideas, information and general feedback,” Rheimheimer said. “We knew right away this was a reputable company and it would work for us.”

The council was pleased with all the communication from the East Coast-based company, which sent the library timelines, ideas for promoting sponsorships, and possible programs and activities that can be held in conjunction with the main event.

Employees with mini golf fundraiser also requested Middlebury Community Library’s floor plans to provide a layout of the course.

“They, of course, send all the equipment including score sheets and the little golf pencils,” Rheinheimer said.

The library is closing at noon today, when a representative from the company will arrive to set up the course along with local volunteers. On Saturday, the library will accept returned books, but will be unable to accommodate patrons who want to use library’s resources.

“We just don’t have the room for both patrons and players that day!” Rheinheimer said.

A special addition to the course is the 19th hole, a concession stand for players. A conference room in the library will be set up with water, pop, popcorn, cookies and ice cream, all foods donated by local merchants.

“We’ve had tremendous support from community businesses,” Rheinheimer said. “And the council is great. When it came time to divvy up the responsibilities, everyone grabbed a job and went with it.”

The Middlebury Enrichment Council is hoping the event is successful enough to bring back again.

“We would like this to be a signature event for us,” Smith said. “There will be more events in other years, but this is a beginning.”

Library Mini Golf  will be held at the Middlebury community Library from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and costs $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and younger.

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