Three Friends’ volunteers honored at thank you party

MILFORD >> It was a full house at the Friends of the Milford Library Thank You Party as friends, volunteers, city officials, and Library staff and board members celebrated the achievements of 2015 and heard plans for the new year.

Friends President Anne Bolin presented Outstanding Achievement Awards for exemplary volunteer services to three to Milford volunteers:

• Amy Bringardener, who for several years has initiated and coordinated the ongoing Book Sale program, adding an invaluable layer of continual funding for library programs. Noted Bolin: “This year you truly went above and beyond — spearheading the Friends Oyster Festival and the Lamplight Stroll sales. You also organized, coordinated and lead our membership drives, adding much needed dollars to our funding. Your dedication is an inspiration to all of us.”

• Lisa Thornell-Gargiulo, who inaugurated and coordinated the organizations’ Little Libraries Program, creating three new Little Libraries: Walnut Beach, Gulf Beach and the YMCA. Said Bolin, “You have generously given your time, creativity and expertise to make a difference in the lives of individual and the quality of life in Milford. Your commitment to the Friends of the Milford Library is matched only by your vision and skills.”

• Carmela DeVito, in recognition of her exceptional contributions. “You are our ambassador extraordinaire, warmly and faithfully greeting people at our Friends table three days a week,” said President Bolin. “You have inspired and educated visitors to the Milford Library, answering their questions suggesting good reads and and presenting a smiling face when they come in the door. You exemplify community caring and spirit and we are delighted to have you on the team.”

A special award was presented to Jorge Santiago, Senior Vice President of the Milford Bank, in recognition of his role as advisor to the Board and for providing essential support to the Friends of the Milford Library Oyster Festival sale.

Library Director Chris Angeli expressed her appreciation not just for the financial support the Friends give to the Library, but also for the wonderful job the Friends do acting as ambassadors for the library.

“I frequently hear from patrons and community members that they have heard about our programs or offerings from a member of the Friends of the Library. This type of vocal public support is crucial to the success of all that we do here. We are very grateful for the countless number of volunteer hours the Friends give back to the Library and the Milford community,” said Angeli.

Children’s Librarian Suzanne Harrison-Thomas echoed those comments, specifically mentioning the impact the Friends have had on offerings for our younger users, such as sponsoring our Children’s summer reading program and funding special performers and our museum pass program.