Friends of Milford Library honor volunteers

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 Milford volunteers.

Amy Bringardener, who for several years has initiated and coordinated the ongoing book sale program, has added an invaluable layer of continual funding for library programs, according to Bolin.

“This year you truly went above and beyond — spearheading the Friends Oyster Festival and the Lamplight Stroll sales,” Bolin told her during the event. “You also organized, coordinated and led our membership drives, adding much needed dollars to our funding. Your dedication is an inspiration to all of us.”

Lisa Thornell-Gargiulo was also honored. She inaugurated and coordinated the organization’s Little Libraries Program, creating three new Little Libraries, at Walnut Beach, Gulf Beach and the YMCA.

“You have generously given your time, creativity and expertise to make a difference in the lives of individuals and the quality of life in Milford,” Bolin told her. “Your commitment to the Friends of the Milford Library is matched only by your vision and skills.”

Carmela DeVito was honored for her exceptional contributions. Bolin told her, “You are our ambassador extraordinaire, warmly and faithfully greeting people at our Friends table three days a week. 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 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,” Angeli said. “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.”

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