By DENISE HERSCHEL
New to Bradley Beach? Stop by the library and pick up your Welcome Pail.
The pails are being offered by the Friends of the Bradley Beach Library. The group’s mission has always been to raise funds for programs, supplies and capital improvements among other areas. And, as volunteers and advocates of the Bradley Beach Library, the group’s 39 active members are always on-the-go, whether it be to help out with a book sale, an afternoon tea or a summer walkathon fundraiser.
Their newest venture, the Welcome Bag Project, was recently launched in collaboration with the Bradley Beach Chamber of Commerce and has been met with enthusiasm by locals as well as newcomers to the borough.
According to Bradley Beach resident and Friends of the Bradley Beach Library member Kathie Deak, the idea of creating the Welcome Bag was the brainchild of former Library Director Janet Torsney who wanted a means of introducing new residents to “our great little library.”
“She and I bantered about it and decided to expand it to include the rest of Bradley Beach. It was brought up at a Friends’ meeting and got a thumbs-up. I volunteered to spearhead the project and mentioned it to John Esposito, vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce, who put me in touch with President Beth Cotler. Their enthusiasm and desire to participate has been awesome. With the capable assistance of Library Program Coordinaor Rita Post, a flier was developed and sent via email to all chamber members by Shirley Ayers,” she said.
Deak continued that the project was explained and suggestions were given to those willing to particpate. Patrick Parker Realty in Bradley Beach was the first to come on board thanks to realtor Diane Turner Valeri, a Bradley Beach resident.
“We now have 23 businesses involved with interest from numerous others. The bags have restaurant menus, sample items, discount coupons, borough calendars, tourism brochures and Monmouth County guidebooks. There are also mugs, beach balls, sunglasses, key chains, and much more,” Deak said. “For starters thirty ‘bags’ were assembled by Friends’ members Catherine Giacobbe and Jeanne Beaudette. The ‘bags’ became beach pails as we are still looking for a bag sponsor. The colorful pails featuring a Bradley Beach logo are on display at the library circulation desk, donated by Friends.”
New residents to Bradley Beach can stop into the Bradley Beach Library with an ID showing proof of residency to pick up their welcome pail or bag. A library staff member will assist and introduce with all the library has to offer and sign up new residents and their family with library cards. They will also provide a monthly event calendar.
“Our distribution has just begun and those first receiving our welcome bags have responded positively,” Deak said. “We look forward to expanding the ‘project and meeting many more newcomers.”
Businesses wishing to participate in the Friends’ project can drop off items at the Bradley Beach Library at 511 Fourth Avenue or call the library for pick-up at 732-776-2995.