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Lodi Library Fundraiser Olympic-Sized Success

U.S. Olympian Elaine Zayak and her son Jack read to the crowd at the Lodi Memorial Library Saturday. Photo Credit: Lodi Memorial Library
U.S. Olympian Elaine Zayak with Lodi Mayor Emil Carafa Jr. Photo Credit: Lodi Memorial Library

LODI, N.J. — A visit by an Olympic athlete made for a successful fundraiser at the Lodi Memorial Library Saturday, organizer Justin Watrel said.

U.S figure skater Elaine Zayak helped bring in two "big boxes" of children's books donated to and three boxes of toys, games and stuffed animals for Emmanuel Cancer Foundation Watrel said.

"Elaine was an absolute doll," said Watrel, member of the Friends of the Lodi Memorial Library.

Watrel finished packing and delivering donations Monday and called the endeavor a big success.

Zayak competed in the 1984 Winter Olympics. She visited Lodi along with her son Jack Saturday for a book reading.

The Olympian then answered questions from the audience and gave an autographed photo of herself to the cancer center. Lodi Mayor Emil Carrafa gave Zayak a medal from the borough as well.

"I thought that was very classy," Watrel said. "The mayor adored her ... I've never seen him give a medal from the town before."

The only downside, Watrel said, was the attendance. The library is still working at increasing its turnout for events but have several planned going forward.

The library staff plan to hold a Groundhog's Day ceremony in February with a live groundhog and then a fundraiser in March, Watrel said.

"There's a lot of stuff in the pipeline," he said.

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