NEWTOWN BOROUGH >> More than 150 book lovers gathered Saturday night at the Stocking Works for a special evening benefiting one of the borough's oldest and most storied institutions.

Held inside the atrium lobby of the Stocking Works, this year's Book Lovers cocktail party again drew a sizable crowd to raise funds in support of the Newtown Library Company.

A cross section of community leaders and residents, including current and past borough official and many Newtown Borough neighbors, enjoyed a night fun and socialization.

Among them was longtime resident Joanne Nardo who had one word to describe the evening. “Wow,” she said. “This is great and so much fun.”

“It’s so heartwarming to see all these people come out. And most of the people here at the party come every year. It’s become a community tradition,” said library board President Donna Gusty. “Just look at their faces. They are all happy. Everyone knows each other. And it’s great to see the local support for our library - the gem of Newtown Borough. It tells me that there’s no better place to live than Newtown.”

This year's event featured a delicious spread of hors d'oeuvres and desserts, a variety of cocktails, dancing and one of the highlights of the night - the Book Lovers Raffle and Silent Auction. Former Mayor and library board member Dennis O'Brien picked the winning tickets.

The raffle featured a variety of gift baskets and gift cards donated by local Newtown businesses. The big prize of the night was a Wheelbarrow of Cheer - a full-sized wheelbarrow packed with wine, spirits and assorted snacks.

The Book Lover’s Cocktail party is among the largest fundraiser of the year for the nonprofit Newtown Library Company, which relies on membership fees, fundraisers and donations for support.

Money raised by the cocktail party will go toward the library’s book collection, including the purchase of new books for its popular children’s collection, keeping its “Best Sellers” section up to date.

“Our librarian, Karolyn Fisher, does an awesome job of keeping up with the Best Sellers. The day they come out they are bought and they’re here,” said Gusty. “We also keep in touch with all the local schools so whatever is on their reading lists we make sure we have it.”

Proceeds also support library programming and meeting the library’s operational and maintenance needs.

According to Gusty, it’s through fundraisers like the cocktail party, the Amazing Race (Newtown Edition) and the Newtown Library 5K Race and it’s dedicated crew of volunteers that the library is able to stay open and remain relevant in today’s technological age.

“We have all the bills that a homeowner would have - landscaping, roof repairs, cutting trees back, maintenance - and we need the funds to pay for them,” said Gusty. “We want to thank everyone here at the cocktail party for supporting the library and the Newtown business community for donating to our auction and especially our main sponsors - the First National Bank of Newtown, Gilbert, Wilson and Hunter, David Witchell and Allan Smith for providing the Atrium at the Stocking Works for the event.”

This year's event was supported by the following businesses: ACME Market, Applebee’s, Athleta, Barre 3, Blue Pooch, Burns’ Auto, Clarks Flowers, The Clubhouse, The Corner Bakery Cafe, Countryside Gallery, Creighton’s Auto, David Craig Jewelers, Duck Sauce, Florentino’s, Friends Bar & Grille, Giant Markets, GiGi’s, Guru’s, Isaac Newton’s, Jake’s Eatery, Joey G’s Deli, Jules Pizza, Kerrigan Sunoco, La Stalla Market, Lu LaRoe, McCaffrey’s Market, Mom Mom’s Pizza, Naked Chocolate, Ned’s Cigar Shop, Newtown Arts Company, Newtown Hardware House, Newtown Theatre, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Oishi/KO, Piccolo Trattoria, Pickering Manor, Playa Bowls, The Melt Shop, The Parry Agency, The Pro Shop, The Salt Cave, The Shoe Café, Starbucks, State Street Kitchen, Steele’s Gulf, Stuckert & Yates, Studio 35, Sublime Spa, Rocco’s at The Brick, Temperance House, Triple Sun Spirits, Turning Point, Urban Allure, Vecchia Osteria, WSFS, Zebra-Striped Whale and Zoe’s Kitchen.

The Newtown Library Company, the oldest continually operating library in Bucks County, is located at 114 East Centre Avenue, Newtown, and can be reached by calling 215-968-7659 or visiting www.newtownlibrarycompany.org.

Mark your calendar

The next installment of the Penn Chair Travel series takes place at the library on March 5 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. with a facinating program about the Titanic by Tom Lynskey.

As he prepared a historical video game project to digitally rebuild the Titanic, Lynskey toured every significant place related to the ship, combing archives, shooting documentaries at museums, and getting tours from locals, providing dozens of amazing stories about Titanic sites in Ireland, England, France, Canada and America.

Check out unique artifacts and learn about the real stories of the Titanic!

Refreshments will be served. A good will donation is suggested to cover the expenses of the program.

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