Fair Aims to Bolster Lewisboro Volunteerism

LEWISBORO, N.Y. – Volunteerism is the backbone of many small communities, but with the number of volunteers dropping, four years ago the Lewisboro Library decided to do something about it.  The Annual Lewisboro Volunteer Fair has been a tradition ever since.

“In 2008, I read an article in a local Connecticut paper about how charitable organizations were hurting for volunteers,” said Liz Gabriele, the library’s program director. “Apparently many of their regular volunteers were retirees and large number of them went away for the winter. I wondered if this was a common problem and how groups might solicit volunteers.”

Thus the Volunteer Fair was born.

“I came up with the idea of a fair where agencies seeking volunteers could set up tables with information on their organizations,” Gabriele said. “The first thing I did was contact Dana Mayclim and Kathy Cory to see if anything like this had been done in the past,” she said of the parks and recreation director and town clerk, respectively.

Gabriele began contacting local groups to see if they’d be interested and got an enthusiastic response. In fact, the response was so enthusiastic that the library had to limit the number of tables to 10 due to space considerations.

The fourth installment of the fair will be held at the library, located at 15 Main St. in South Salem, this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Community members are invited to drop by and find out how they can be of service. Some of the groups on hand include the Lewisboro Garden Club, Meals on Wheels, Guiding Eyes for the Blind and the Wolf Conservation Center.

“The Wolf Conservation Center is great because they take volunteers as young as 16,” Gabrielle said.

New to this year’s fair will be the American Cancer Society – Relay for Life. The annual fundraiser is coming to Lewisboro for the first time on June 22 and she said it needs plenty of help.

“The Garden Club is always here too,” Gabriele added. “They don’t care if you are an experienced gardener or a novice. The Girl Scouts come every year as well. They need people with special skills to help the girls earn their patches.”

The library itself needs volunteers for its annual fair in September and to help out with its book sale in May, among other tasks.

For more information about the volunteer fair, call the library at 914-763-3857.

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