AUGUSTA — When the Kennebec Valley YMCA and Cony High School needed to raise money for their new buildings several years ago, Lithgow Public Library delayed its own plans to raise money for expansion and renovation. The money needed to build a new $10 million YMCA and a new Cony High School, was raised and both opened in 2006 within days of each other.

Meanwhile, Lithgow Library remainsthe same.

Now the YMCA is returning the favor.

The Friends of Lithgow Library has raised about $2.5 million in private contributions for the expansion, but needs $500,000 more to meet its fundraising commitment. That will be added to the $8 million that city voters agreed in June to borrow for the project.

A new fundraising raffle devised by the YMCA aims to help the library.

Harry Lanphear, president of the board of directors of the Kennebec Valley YMCA, said former president Kat Beaudoin suggested that as part of the local Y’s 100th anniversary celebration, it should raise money and awareness not just for the YMCA, but also the library.


Before the YMCA moved to Union Street, the two were neighbors on Winthrop Street for decades.

“As you look back at the history of the community, Lithgow and the Y could have been both fundraising for a new building at the exact same time,” Lanphear said. “Instead, the library gracefully stepped aside because our need was urgent.

“It was, really, the right thing to do for the community at the time. Now, Lithgow’s need is absolutely urgent. So the Y felt it was a great time for us to thank Lithgow for allowing us to do what we did years ago, and support them in a very visible way.”

Compared to the millions raised for the earlier projects, the stakes of the raffle are relatively low. But the payoff for the winning ticket is relatively high.

The raffle, which will be drawn Oct. 21, will sell a maximum of 300 tickets for $100 each. If all 300 are sold, the winner of the raffle will take home $10,000, the Y will get $10,000 for its scholarship fund for young members, and $10,000 will go to the Lithgow Library capital campaign.

Comments are no longer available on this story