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The North Bend Eagle


Hunt grant puts library drive over $1 million

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 8/25/10

Pat Beebe announced at the Aug. 10 North Bend Library Foundation meeting that the new library drive has received a $50,000 grant from the Hunt Foundation. With this grant the fund raising for the new library passed the $1 million mark.

The Hunt Foundation donated the money in memory of Robert and Jeanette Hunt, founders of Great Plains Communications, which is celebrating its centennial this year. The Hunt Foundation, founded in 2003, is administered by the Hunt’s daughters Robley Garrigan and Gail Jensen. The library donation is their fourth substantial gift.

“Our parents were both life-long learners,” Garrigan said. “This gift to the North Bend library would have made them very happy.”

Robert Hunt was born in Fremont and spent his early years in Malmo. Great Plains has owned the North Bend telephone company since 1985. Garrigan said that their family has many ties to this eastern Nebraska area.

“We like to support projects that benefit one of the towns served by Great Plains,” Jensen said. “It is special to be able to support programs that help the community.”

“We’re really pleased to have reached this point in our fund raising,” Library Foundation president Jana Post said, “but we know the hard work has just begun.”
Members of the board have seen studies that say the last 20 percent of fund raising is always the hardest.

“We are continuing to work on grants,” Library Foundation member Pat Beebe said, “but we hope those in the community who are waiting to see if the library will really happen will step forward and make their donations now. It is going to happen.”

The Library Foundation has purchased a lot on the northeast corner of Main and 13th streets and plan to start dirt work this fall. One of the grants, the Kiewit Grant, is a last dollar grant and all fund raising, short their $75,000, has to be complete by June 2011 in order to get this money.

The original goal was set at $1.2 million, but the Foundation hopes to surpass that in order to have amenities not in the original plan (16 paved parking places, landscaping, etc.) added to the site to make it more complete and aid in the long term maintenance.

The Hunt Foundation contribution brings the funds raised to date total to $1,047,559.65 .

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