Experience the Library After Dark at the 2020 Book Ball

January 2020

The tickets for the 2020 Book Ball are officially on sale! The Book Ball was an event that originally debuted in 1962 and was organized by the Psi Iota Xi sorority—which is still very active in Zionsville—and was held at the Dolphin Country Club in Indianapolis, and the proceeds benefited the Children’s Reading Room of the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library (HMMPL) in Zionsville.

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Paying Homage While Raising Awareness

The HMMPL Foundation’s Chief Development Officer Tracy Phillips presented the idea of resurrecting and bringing a new purpose to the Book Ball. The HMMPL Foundation—founded in 1999—will host its first fundraising gala this coming February to pay homage to its founders and namesakes and the Psi Iota Xi sorority while sharing the purpose of the foundation with the attendees.

As the community grows and the needs of the community changes, Phillips is looking at the Book Ball as a way to assist with the sustainability of the library and the longevity of the foundation, so it can continue to offer the same myriad of services and resources for generations to come.

“The Book Ball will be held on Feb. 8, 2020, at the library,” Phillips said. “We will begin the evening paying homage to the original philanthropists of HMMPL, and in the middle of the event, we are going to make a pivot and start talking about the future of the library. In addition to the original philanthropists, we will also be using this event to thank the original fundraisers, Psi Iota Xi sorority. Many of its members are extremely active and do so much for Zionsville. They were the ones that started fundraising for the Summer Library Program and hosted the original Book Balls, which is why we have named this event in their honor and are hoping that many of them will come to this event.”

As we are reminded that the Book Ball is a tradition being resurrected to pay homage to all of the support that came before us, it is also an opportunity to learn more about the foundation and what’s currently going on at our library. It is also a fun and exciting way to experience the library after hours with live music by Greta Speaks, heavy hors d’oeuvres, desserts and cocktails! Attendees can participate in a “Book Pull”—a version of a wine pull—a library scavenger hunt and a special fund drive—a unique opportunity to steer a new library outreach program. You must be present for the reveal of this innovative and exciting program!

The ticket price will be $75 until January 1 and then on or after it goes up to $100 per person. So, get your tickets early. Sponsorships are available for the Book Ball, and interested parties should contact Phillips for individual and corporate sponsorship details.

How Does the HMMPL Foundation Support Community?

What people may not know is that 2019 is the 20th anniversary of the foundation’s grant giving and celebrated a monumental milestone on the actual anniversary this past October when it surpassed $1 million dollars in grant distributions to the library for a myriad of programs and services.

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“In 1999, the HMMPL Foundation was created through the bequests of Olive Hoffman, Lora Hussey and Mary Mayfield that was separated from the public library and put into a foundation, into an endowment-like fund,” Phillips explained. “So, for 20 years—quietly with no publicity—the board of directors of the library foundation has given grants that are funded by the distribution of the principle from this bequest.”

Phillips shared a fascinating anecdote about a grant from the foundation’s very first grant cycle.

“I pulled out the grants from that [first] grant cycle and found a grant for a poetry workshop and reading by New York author Dave Johnson,” Phillips shared. “In the spring of 2002, Johnson came to Zionsville and presented a two-day program that was designed to enhance the appreciation and interest in poetry by all ages. And I recently discovered a book on our shelf [at the library], “The Closest I Ever Came to Purple—A poetry anthology by the young adults of The Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Library,” that was edited by Johnson. Some of the names of people who are published in this anthology are recognizable names and still reside in our community. This is just one of many examples of how the foundation board has been doing out-of-the-box things to benefit our library and community.”

This foundation has provided grants for free programs and services enjoyed by members of our community, as well as members of surrounding communities, such as popular programs like the Summer Reading Program as well as necessary infrastructure such as Wi-Fi.

“To this day, the foundation is funding the library’s marketing department that promotes the library and its 1,202 events/programs that we had last year that need to be publicized,” Phillips said. “And this past October, one of innovative grants was approved that really excites me. A sensory garden that is billed as a ‘children’s’ sensory garden will have a children’s seating area on one level and additional seating for adults on another level, so we can have children’s programs out there, moms can meet for ‘Mom’s Day Out’ gatherings, book clubs or just a place of respite. The sensory garden is for everyone.”

The library is our community’s hub, and as such, it relies on the support of its patrons to keep the high-level and vast assortment of resources and programs at our disposal.

“We are the community hub,” Phillips concurred. “We are the place where everyone goes for resources and programs for all ages, and we want to be even more of that. Our strategic plan will get us there, but our foundation has to be poised and ready—financially—to fill the needs that the community has told us it wants.”

For tickets and additional details on the Book Ball, visit http://bit.ly/BOOKBALL2020. For more information on the HMMPL Foundation, visit zionsvillelibrary.org.

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