CARTHAGE — Not held since before COVID, the Carthage Free Library hosted its wine-tasting fundraiser in May, teaming up with Carthage Area Chamber of Commerce for the event to have a dual purpose as a Business After Hours.
“We have not held this event since 2019, so I surprised at the turnout,” said Christina Bamberg, interim library director. “We had many tell us it was their first time at the library and one said he had not been there for years. With it being a chamber event it brought in people we don’t normally see and many said they would be back. They don’t usually do the Business After Hours as a fundraiser but it worked. People made contact with each other.”
Four area winemakers — Thousand Islands Winery, Coyote Moon Vineyards, Busted Grapes and Otter Creek Winery — presented samples of wines and offered an assortment of bottles for sale as people snacked on light refreshments provided by Carthage Savings Bank.
Scotty Sweeney of Carthage said it was his first time at a Carthage Business After Hours.
“We usually go to the ones in Watertown,” he said, noting he has visited the library with his daughter.
Items donated by The Friends of Carthage Free Library including a spa basket, a “spring cleaning” basket, an assortment of wines and specialty food baskets were raffled off and there was a 50/50 raffle to benefit the library. Marissa Murphy won the other half of the funds at $43.
The wine-tasting raised $1,235 to support the free public programs offered for toddlers to senior citizens and operations of the Carthage Free Library.
The chamber’s Business After Hours events are held to allow for networking for the businesses in the area as well as the opportunity for community members to learn about what the community has to offer in a social setting.
This was the first public event for the chamber’s new executive director, Claire Vanover, whom chamber president Tina Lanier introduced during the event.
Library board president Bridget Fetterly welcomed those in attendance and Mrs. Bamberg told of the programs offered free of charge at the library including story time for toddlers, Senior Planet — technology classes for senior citizens and make and take craft lessons for all ages.
This summer a reading program “All Together New” will be offered which includes STEM activities.
“Donations help immensely,” she said, noting the library also has a six-person pass to the Zoo New York at Thompson Park in Watertown which can be checked out for a week.
Mrs. Vanover described the event as successful.
“It went very well,” she said. “It was very successful — made good amount of money and raised visibility of programs. Wehope to work with them (the library) again in the future.”
The chamber is seeking member businesses to host Business After Hours event. For more information about the chamber or to become a member, call 315-493-3590.
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