Hadacol Bouncers will play live at the 12th annual Fuel Rally at the Scarborough Library. Courtesy photo/Stefi Cox

Scarborough Public Library is hosting the upcoming 12th Annual Fuel Rally community fundraiser with Project GRACE. The rally raises critical funds for fuel assistance. It will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Feb. 10 at the library. The goal for the “Keep Our Neighbors Warm” fuel assistance fundraiser is to raise $25,000.

Project GRACE, a Scarborough nonprofit, says it aims to improve the lives of local residents by identifying those in need and those willing to share their gifts, coordinating the interchange in a compassionate and confidential manner.

Steffi Cox of Project GRACE said, “We have a great line up of groups participating, and the event will have music, a bake sale, raffles and more. All to help keep our neighbors warm through the winter.”

“We see our roles (between the library and Project GRACE) as having a natural overlap; both organizations are in the role of helping people access resources,” Elsa Rowe, the library Community Engagement manager, said

The library is open 54+ hours a week, which offers a substantial amount of time for shelter and a termperate environment for those exposed to the elements or those with poorly heated or cooled homes, Rowe said. She said the library welcomes all people, and is a inclusive location where individuals and families can seek respite and enjoy the various amenities offered.

“At the library, we care about access to knowledge and learning,” Rowe said. “Part of that knowledge is about how to get about in this complicated world. If someone comes to us looking for information about where to get help, that’s why we’re here. We’re not just books, though books are very important, but about learning how to get the help we need and learning to understand the world around us.”


Fuel Rally gathering from several years ago. Courtesy photo/Steffi Cox

“When we serve as a heating or cooling center, we provide not only a safe space but also free hot beverages or cold water, along with access to other always-free offerings,” she said. This includes charging stations, reading materials, public computers, and recreational activities, such as puzzles and games and space for toddlers and preschoolers, complete with Legos and drawing pages. “We can really help take the pressure off. If heating costs are too high, individuals can turn down their heat and spend time here. Some even use the library as their work-from-home space,” Rowe said.

To ensure that the library continue its mission and continue to operate during power outages, the library is fundraising for a generator. “We want to be the place in town that people can rely on and know they can go to when times are tough,” she said. The library aims to transform challenging situations into opportunities for community members, offering a space where adults and families can seek additional help if needed.

In discussing the broader impact of the rally, Rowe said, “While specific activities may not be showcased during the rally, the event provides a platform for the community to witness the library’s dynamic nature and its active engagement with partner organizations.” She said everyone is invited to the library to experience its vibrant and supportive atmosphere.

The library, in collaboration with the Friends of the Scarborough Library, will also host a book sale during the fuel rally. Bags of books labeled as “Mysteries,” or “Picture Books” will be available for $5

Children making Valentines at previous year’s Fuel Rally. Courtesy photo/Steffi Cox

Also planned for the day, Youth Services Manager Deanna McNamara has arranged engaging activities for kids. These include a Valentine’s card-making station and Lego play. Live at the Rally, Hadacol Bouncers will be performing, showcasing their music described as a hybrid of New Orleansjazz, Chicago Style jazz, novelty songs, and other classics.


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