Arrest of local Wordy Dozen deemed a success

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by Lucie Roy

A two-day fundraising event raised $3697 for the Morinville Community Library over the weekend, monies that will be used to fund programming at the library in 2015.

Twelve people were arrested for library crimes last week and their pictures were plastered in the news and on wanted posters around town. Each of the accused had different reasons for being arrested, but no matter the severity of the crime, bail was set at $250 each. But this Jail and Bail event was a little unique. Not only could generous residents bail the library criminals out with cash – they could bail them out with library memberships as well.

jail4Library Manager Isabelle Cramp, Board Chair Stephen Dafoe, Vice Chair Keith Norris, Mayor Lisa Holmes, members of Council, and other prominent residents of the community volunteered their time for the worthy cause, all thrown into the gazebo in St. Jean Baptiste Park which served as the jail for the day. Board Chair Stephen Dafoe also locked himself up at the cultural centre during Friday night’s Oktoberfest to collect bail on behalf of the accused.

The Wordy Dozen spent their day Saturday pleading to those attending the Morinville Food and Jam Festival to bail them out. Local cartoonist Bruce Humen put his creativity to work, doing caricatures to earn his bail money.

Library Manager Isabelle Cramp said members of the Library Board initiated the fundraiser. “The goal was to raise $3000 towards programming,” Cramp said, adding she was pleased so many were willing to participate in the cause both as participants and donors.

Some people paid to free themselves. Some had their friends donate to release them. And some paid money to keep the Wordy Dozen in a little longer.

But the event was about more than meeting the goal to raise $3000 toward programming for 2015. “I think this is the best thing going; it brings people together talking to people [about the library],” said Keith Norris, Vice Chair of the Library Board. “There should be more of this.”

October is Canadian Library Month. Cramp said this year’s theme – Libraries Inspire – was instilled in the fundraiser because it ignited the passion for members of the community to work together and donate time and money to make a positive change.

Saturday’s event is just one of the ways the Morinville Community Library’s board and staff seek creative ways to raise awareness about the importance of libraries and raise funds to support the library beyond Town grants. The library holds two successful silent auctions each year and recently got into the entertainment business with their first stand up comedy show, an event that sold 210 tickets during St. Jean Baptiste Festival 2014.

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