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(Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries)
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A gift in their name: A lasting legacy at local libraries

The Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries are close to reaching their goal for their 2021 Realizing the Promise Campaign, thanks in part to donations dedicated to honor loved ones.

The Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries’ 2021 Realizing the Promise Campaign to raise $1,000,000 for the Aptos, Branciforte, and Garfield Park Libraries is now at 93% of its goal. Meaningful gifts come from donors who wish to honor or memorialize a loved one or community leader. Donors who give $1,000 or more get to see their names and tributes on a donor wall at their chosen branch.


Matt and Brooke Gridley In Honor of Sisi and Cher Gridley | Construction Crew at Garfield Park Branch

Sisi and Cher Gridley
(Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries)

“Last year our family was able to buy our first home a couple blocks from the Garfield library branch. We are looking forward to watching our daughters grow and learn alongside the rest of the community with the resources the library provides. We are thrilled to be able to contribute to the renovations and play a small part to improve an important neighborhood institution for future generations.”

— Matt and Brooke Gridley

Martín and Virtudes Gómez In Memory of Eleanor Torres Gomez Valdespino | Foundation on Donor Wall at Branciforte Branch

Eleanor Torres Gomez Valdespino
(Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries)

“I lost my mom last January. She had just turned 90 on December 25th the previous year. Born and raised in Chicago, she spent most of her adult life in southern California raising four boys. My mom made many sacrifices for me and my brothers. Honoring what she meant to me as part of the capital campaign was an easy decision to make.”

— Martín and Virtudes Gómez

Debby Peronto In Memory of Joanne Peronto | Teen Patio at Aptos Branch

Joanne Peronto
(Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries)

“One of my earliest memories is of weekly bike rides to the library behind my mom and brother. The trip was an hour each way and we could stay as long as we liked and have as many books as we could carry - for free!”

— Debby Peronto

Esteemed Colleagues

Gale Farthing and Jim Bourne In Memory of Merritt Taylor and Emily Galli | Construction Crew at Aptos Branch

L to R: Merritt Taylor and Emily Galli
(Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries)

“Merry and Emily were both librarians in Santa Cruz for many years, and made many contributions to our library system. They were good friends and beloved colleagues, and I wanted to be sure that their memories stayed in the library that they loved and supported.”

— Gale Farthing and Jim Bourne

A Local Hero

In Honor of Mike Rotkin | Fireplace at Garfield Park, a community opportunity sponsored by Senator John Laird, Carol Fuller, Don Lane, and Ceil Cirillo

Mike Rotkin

Mike Rotkin — longtime Santa Cruz City Council member and multi-term mayor — developed his local organizing chops as leader of a grassroots campaign to rescue the Garfield Park branch from permanent closure. In the summer of 1978, after the passage of Prop 13 drastically reduced funding for public services throughout California, it was announced that the much-loved Garfield Park library would be closed as a cost-saving measure.

This was a shock to local residents, who had come to treasure the little library that served the entire neighborhood, including as a gathering place for a multi-racial group of seniors and after-school resource for neighborhood kids.

Mike led an intense grassroots effort with hundreds of Westside residents and ultimately persuaded the City Council to reopen the Garfield Park library for good. This experience led to additional successful organizing, and inspired Mike to run for City Council in 1979. He served on the council for six terms over a span of thirty-plus years, and represented the City on the SCPL governing board throughout that time. Mike’s commitment and strategic leadership was critical as the system met challenges of funding, aging facilities, technology, and expanding services.

Mike’s friends have so far raised $13,000 of $20,000 needed to dedicate the Fireplace. To support this tribute, visit our website and choose Capital Campaign for Garfield Park from the dropdown menu. Make sure to select “I would like to dedicate this donation” and type Mike Rotkin under “Tribute Name.”

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    Join the 2021 Capital Campaign
    Support the Santa Cruz Public Libraries by creating your own tribute donation. If there is someone you would like to honor, just follow the instructions above and enter your loved one’s name as you would like it to appear on the donor wall.