Grape Expectations Gala Exceeds Expectations!
The Long Beach Public Library Foundation raised more than $350,000 to support its work to enhance programs, technology, and resources at the city’s 12 public libraries on Sept. 18 at the 19th annual Grape Expectations gala at Hotel Maya.
400 guests gathered on the Vista del Mar terrace overlooking Queensway Bay to indulge in fine wines from six distinguished wine distributors led by Randy Kemner of The Wine Country and gourmet appetizers and mocktails donated by celebrated local caterers and restaurants, all as they were swept away by music from Trio del Alma. Following the wine tasting reception, guests enjoyed a fabulous four-course dinner with wine pairings and commentary by Randy Kemner.
Guests were greeted by Library Foundation Executive Director and CEO Veronica Garcia Dávalos, Board President Ryan Ballard, and Long Beach Mayor and Honorary Library Foundation Director Dr. Robert Garcia. Library Foundation Vice President of Fund Development Joan Van Hooten paid tribute to the memories of champions of literacy Kay and Tony Tortorice and Janis Krantz.
First Vice President and Corporate Real Estate Manager Farmers and Merchants Bank Christine Walker-Bowman accepted the Library Leadership Award recognizing F&M’s sponsorship of the Library Foundation’s 19th annual Dictionary Days program, giving every third-grade student in the Long Beach Unified School District a dictionary/thesaurus of their very own. F&M has supported the Foundation since 2005, enhancing Library programming including Black History and Latino Heritage Months.
Margaret and Charles Durnin presented the Durnin Family Award to Foundation Directors Emeriti Mary Hancock Hinds and Rick Alsagoff for their longtime service and leadership of a campaign that raised over $1 million to enhance the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library.
Honorees were featured in inspirational short films produced and donated by Digital Revolution and presented with proclamations from Supervisor Janice Hahn and Mayor Robert Garcia.
Guests stirred on by auctioneer Randy Gordon raised their paddles to contribute more than $115,000 during the live auction and live ask, with auction items donated by the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, Taylor’s Cigar Lounge, Port of Long Beach, McCarty’s Jewelry, and Margaret Smith and Rob Bellevue. The crowd was charmed by Cordelia Howard, Director of Library Services from 1983 to 1998, who raised her paddle repeatedly during the live ask until she had contributed $20,000. To close out an evening to remember, Board President-elect and Special Events Committee Chair Sean Reilly drew the names of Anthony Puente and Randy Mizer as 1st and 2nd place raffle prize winners.
Distinguished guests included Long Beach Mayor Dr. Robert Garcia; Vice Mayor Rex Richardson; Councilmembers Stacy Mungo Flanigan, Suzie Price, and Roberto Uranga; LBUSD Board of Education President Megan Kerr and Board member Doug Otto, LBCC Board of Trustees President Uduak-Joe Ntuk and Trustees Vivian Malauulu and Sunny Zia; Long Beach Harbor Commission President Sharon L. Weissman and Secretary Bonnie Lowenthal; CSULB President Jane Close Conoley; representing the Hon. Janice Hahn, 4th District Supervisor, County of Los Angeles, Daritza Gonzalez; President of the Friends of the Long Beach Public Library Barbara Sosa; Grape Expectations Chair Sean Reilly; Co-chairs Barbara Long and M. Lissette Flores; and committee volunteers Diane Anglin, Cheryl Avirom, Ryan Ballard, Charlyn Bender, Celine Cordero, Mary Hancock Hinds, Mary Lamo-Putnam, Liz Munzer, Carmen O. Perez, Desiree Rew, Barbara Schwerin, Jeff Toelsin, and Joan Van Hooten.
Over the past 26 years, the Library Foundation has raised more than $26 million to support the city’s public libraries. Lead event sponsors included the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, Port of Long Beach, Lisa and Frank Chapman, Clark Construction, Margaret and Charley Durnin, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, and the Shadden Group at Morgan Stanley.
Announcing the Library Foundation’s 2022 Honorees – Celebrate at Grape Expectations
The Library Foundation is thrilled to announce the 19th annual Grape Expectations gala honorees:
Rick Alsagoff and Mary Hancock Hinds,
DURNIN FAMILY AWARD
Farmers & Merchants Bank,
LIBRARY LEADERSHIP AWARD
Rick Alsagoff and Mary Hancock Hinds are proud North Long Beach residents who co-chaired the Library Foundation’s campaign for the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library, which raised more than $1 million for programs, technology, and resources at the new library. Longtime supporters of literacy and education, Rick served on the Library Foundation Board of Directors for nine years and Mary for 19 years.
Farmers & Merchants Bank has supported the Library Foundation since 2005, generously funding our work at the 12 public libraries. This year, Farmers & Merchants Bank was the lead sponsor of the Library Foundation’s Dictionary Days program, which provides a new dictionary/thesaurus to every LBUSD third-grade student. 5,000 books were provided this year to students thanks to F&M’s generous support.
Sponsorships, tables, and tickets are available for Grape Expectations! Learn more and preview the evening’s four-course gourmet dinner menu with fine wine pairings at the link below. Proceeds support the Library Foundation’s work to fund programs, technology, and more at the 12 Long Beach public libraries.
Save the Date for Grape Expectations
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2022
5:00 to 9:00 PM
Join the Long Beach Public Library Foundation for an evening to remember with a lavish gourmet dinner, incredible wines, and exciting online and live auctions! The Grape Expectations gala is the Library Foundation’s signature fundraising event to support our work on behalf of the 12 Long Beach public libraries.
Please contact Deputy Executive Director of Development, Erica Bradley, at email@example.com regarding sponsorship opportunities and to purchase tables.
Stay tuned for more details, including a sneak peek of this year’s menu and fine wine pairings.
Grape Expectations Exceeded with More than $215,000 Raised for the Library Foundation
Check back for news about the 19th annual Grape Expectations gala taking place in 2022!
On September 19, 2021, the Long Beach Public Library Foundation celebrated significant milestones and champions of literacy at the 18th annual Grape Expectation gala. The gala brought together more than 300 library supporters at the Museum of Latin American Art (MoLAA) to celebrate the Library Foundation’s 25th anniversary and the Long Beach Public Library’s 125th anniversary. Guests enjoyed premier online and live auctions featuring fine wines and exciting experiences, dined on gourmet foods with wine pairings expertly chosen by Randy Kemner of The Wine Country, and raised more than $215,000 to support Library Foundation work on behalf of the City’s 12 public libraries. The Port of Long Beach generously supported the evening’s festivities as the Imperial Sponsor.
Following a wine tasting and appetizer reception featuring local wineries, restaurants, and caterers who donated refreshments, guests were guided into MoLAA’s outdoor sculpture garden for dinner at sunset and live music by contemporary Bossa Nova singer Caro Pierotto and her band. The dinner opened with a welcome by Library Foundation Interim Executive Director Kathy McCarrell, Library Foundation 2021 Board President M. Lissette Flores, and Library Foundation 2020 Board President Sharon L. Weissman. They invited Cordelia Howard, Director of Library Services (1983-1998), to the stage to deliver a heartwarming speech about her friend and Library Foundation founding Board member, Margaret Durnin. With Howard’s encouragement, Durnin and fellow founders Bob Kilpatrick, Helena Belisle, and Robert Campbell generously contributed their resources, time, and expertise to form the Library Foundation in 1996. In 25 years, the Library Foundation has raised more than $25 million to support technology, programs, and resources at the City’s 12 public libraries. In Howard’s words, none of this would have been possible and, “there would be no Library Foundation had it not been for Margaret Durnin.” Following Howard’s speech, Durnin was welcomed onto the stage, where Flores and Weissman surprised Durnin and Howard by leading all guests in a Champagne toast in honor of all they have done to support literacy and education in Long Beach. Flores and Weissman also presented Durnin and Howard with proclamations from Congressman Alan Lowenthal, Senator Lena A. Gonzalez, Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell, Supervisor Janice Hahn, Mayor Robert Garcia, and Councilwoman Suzie Price.
The evening continued with a presentation of the 2021 Library Leadership Award to Vice Mayor Rex Richardson for his work supporting the Long Beach public libraries, notably the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library. Library Foundation Directors Emeriti and Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library Capital Campaign Co-chairs Rick Alsagoff and Mary Hancock Hinds took to the stage to discuss how Vice Mayor Richardson involved local youth in the naming process of the Library and was deeply involved in creating a library to meet the many needs the community. Library Foundation Board President-elect and friend to Richardson, Ryan Ballard, welcomed Richardson to accept his award and shared that Richardson inspired him to join the Library Foundation Board of Directors.
Margaret Durnin and her husband, Dr. Charles Durnin, followed with a presentation to honor Joseph F. Prevratil, JD, with the 2021 Durnin Family Award for his dedication to libraries and literacy. Prevratil served on the Library Foundation Board from 2003 to 2014. During his term as President in 2013, the Library Foundation strengthened its endowment to lift the organization to a higher level of sustainability. In addition, from 1995 to 2019, Joe led the Archstone Foundation in its mission to contribute toward the needs of the aging population. During this time, the Archstone Foundation awarded over 1,100 grants totaling more than $117 million to many nonprofit organizations, including the Long Beach Public Library Foundation. These grants have supported the Library Foundation’s work on behalf of the 12 public libraries and the Library’s Homebound Readers delivery services for library patrons confined to their homes. As a Director Emeritus, Joe has remained engaged in Library Foundation activities and serves on the Legacy Committee, bringing our organization to the attention of those who care deeply about the future of Long Beach’s public libraries.
Special Events Committee Chair Sean M. Reilly spoke next to thank guests and honor the 18th anniversary of Grape Expectations. Reilly has chaired the event committee since 2019 and leads all volunteer efforts that make Grape Expectations a success. He asked all in attendance who had ever served on the event’s committee to stand for applause. Those celebrated for their service to Grape Expectations include this year’s committee volunteers: Kate Azar, Ryan Ballard, M. Lissette Flores, Mary Hancock Hinds, Mary Lamo-Putnam, Barbara Long, Carmen O. Perez, Jeffrey Toelsin, Tony Tortorice, Joan Van Hooten, Sharon L. Weissman, Sally Wittenberg, and Greg Zinberg. Reilly also thanked his brother and film producer, Dan Reilly, for donating his time and resources to produce a short and inspirational film about the Library Foundation’s 25th anniversary that was shown during the event. Following this, guests excitedly raised their paddles to contribute more than $60,000 during the live auction and live ask.
Thank You to Our Lead Imperial Sponsor, the Port of Long Beach
Champion of Literacy, Vice Mayor Rex Richardson
For his dedication to libraries and literacy, the Long Beach Public Library Foundation was delighted to present Vice Mayor Rex Richardson with the 2021 Library Leadership Award at the 18th annual Grape Expectations gala on September 19. In the early 2010s, North Long Beach’s stunning Michele Obama Neighborhood Library was just a dream. Community members met with Library staff in the Jordan High School cafeteria to share visions for their neighborhood’s new library. By 2016, those visions had become a reality with the opening of the new Library’s doors. A significant key to that transformation was our honoree, Vice Mayor Richardson.
From those first meetings, Richardson was deeply involved, sharing ideas, resources, and, most importantly, his leadership skills, as demonstrated by the naming of the new library. Throughout the city, there was a wide range of ideas about what to name the new library. Its predecessor was simply called “North Library,” but this spectacular new structure needed a name to match its magnificence.
Many names were suggested with no consensus until Richardson came up with the ideal solution: ask the area’s young people what name would inspire them to visit and use this new resource. Jordan High School’s students resoundingly selected the First Lady.
With a new name in place, the Library Foundation was tasked with fundraising for enhancements such as the Family Learning Center, the Studio, furnishings, books, and technology. Richardson supported this effort with energy and enthusiasm as one of the fundraising campaign’s honorary co-chairs. The campaign raised more than $1 million, which will continue to benefit the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library for many years to come. Richardson has remained a steadfast supporter of the Library and the Library Foundation.
Champion of Literacy, Joseph F. Prevratil, JD
On September 19 at the Long Beach Public Library Foundation’s Grape Expectations gala, we were proud to honor Joseph F. Prevratil, JD, with the 2021 Durnin Family Award for his dedication to libraries and literacy. His leadership and guidance has been key to the Library Foundation accomplishing many goals and developing a sustainable future.
From 1995 to 2019, Joe led the Archstone Foundation in its mission to contribute toward the needs of the aging population as President and CEO. He was instrumental in moving the Archstone Foundation from a focus on general health to its longstanding focus on aging. During this time, the Archstone Foundation awarded over 1,100 grants totaling more than $117 million to many nonprofit organizations, including the Long Beach Public Library Foundation. These grants have supported the Library Foundation’s work on behalf of the 12 public libraries and the Library’s Homebound Readers delivery services for library patrons confined to their homes. Joe is also a founding member of Grantmakers In Aging (GIA).
Joe served on the Library Foundation Board from 2003 to 2014. During his term as President in 2013, the Library Foundation strengthened its endowment to lift the organization to a higher level of sustainability. The Library Foundation also raised funds for the Library’s first makerspace Studio stocked with the latest in digital learning resources. During this time, the Library Foundation took an active role in advocating for what would become the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library and Billie Jean King Main Library. In 2013, Joe was one of 25 leaders across the country invited to join a prestigious national Libraries, Museums, and Early Learning task force convened by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Through the years, Joe has helped strengthen Long Beach through his many leadership roles, including Chief Executive Director for the Port of Long Beach, President and CEO of the Queen Mary, and Chairman of the boards of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, the Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Downtown Long Beach Associates. He was a founding member of the CSULB Board of Governors and continues to be a member of the CSULB Research Foundation Board of Directors.
As a Director Emeritus, Joe has remained engaged in Library Foundation activities and serves on the Legacy Committee, bringing our organization to the attention of those who care deeply about the future of Long Beach’s public libraries. Through his leadership and generosity, Joe has provided crucial resources for the many who depend on the Library.
Reading Recommendations from Long Beach Librarians
Share in the joy of reading with recommendations from Long Beach Public Library librarians. The books listed below for children, teens, and adults are part of the Library’s eBook collection on Overdrive. Sign in with your library card barcode and pin to check out these books and more. If you would like to apply for a temporary library card to access this resource, click here.
Dino-Basketball (Dino Series) by Lisa Wheeler
Dream Animals: a Bedtime Journey by Emily Winfield Martin
Give Me Back My Bones by Kim Norman
It’s a Tiger! by David LaRochelle
My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero
The Night Is Yours by Abdul-Razak Zachariah
Planet Kindergarten (Series) by Sue Ganz-Schmitt
Steam Train, Dream Train by Sherri Duskey Rinker
Super Red Riding Hood by Claudia Davila
Tina Cocolina: Queen of the Cupcakesby Pablo Cartaya
The Wizard, the Fairy, and the Magic Chicken by Helen Lester
Early Chapter Books
Three Tales of My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
In a Blink (Never Girls) by Kiki Thorpe
Harriet the Invincible (Hamster Princess) by Ursula Vernon
Billions of Bats (Buzz Beaker Brainstorm) by Scott Nickel
The City of Ember (Ember Series) by Jeanne DuPrau
Door in the Alley (The Explorers) by Adrienne Kress
Gregor the Overlander (The Underland Chronicles) by Suzanne Collins
National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society (NERDS) by Michael Buckley
Peter and the Starcatchers (series) by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Sweep: the Story of a Girl and her Monster by Jonathan Auxier
The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel) by Michael Scott
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls) by Ally Carter
Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings (Real Mermaids) by Helene Boudreau
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia
Wildwood (Wildwood Chronicles) by Colin Meloy
Bloody Jack (Series) by L. A. Meyer
Dead is the New Black (Dead Is Series) by Marlene Perez
Intertwined (Series) by Gena Showalter
The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking) by Patrick Ness
The Looking Glass Wars (Series) by Frank Beddor
The Monstrumologist (Series) by Rick Yancey
Mortal Engines (Predator Cities) by Philip Reeves
Three Dark Crowns (Series) by Kendare Blake
Vampire Academy (Series) by Richelle Mead
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
Library Book by Susan Orlean
Well Read Black Girl by Glory Edim
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
Bibliotech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google by John Palfrey
A Message from California State Librarian Greg Lucas – Grape Expectations: Stay Home & Read Edition
A Message from Director of Library Services Glenda Williams – Grape Expectations: Stay Home & Read Edition
Hello Library Supporters!
I hope you all are doing well during this extraordinary time of COVID-19. Thank you for joining the Long Beach Public Library Foundation’s Stay Home & Read Edition of Grape Expectations. While I’m disappointed that we won’t be able to enjoy the gala in-person, we are grateful to see the outpouring of library support during this challenging time. Your donation of any size allows the Library Foundation to continue its important work of fund programs and resources at the 12 public libraries. While the libraries are temporarily closed, many digital resources are available. And we know that all our resources will be needed more than ever when the Library is allowed to safely reopen.
As we all continue to abide by the City of Long Beach “Safer at Home” ordinance, it can be challenging to find high quality sources for online learning and enrichment, or to improve job skills during this uncertain economy. I want you to know that your Long Beach Public Library is here for you!
Long Beach residents can access free online support at the Long Beach Public Library’s new Your Library at Home webpage, your “one-stop shop” of online resources for families during this Safer at Home period.
Discover Gale Courses to enhance or learn new job skills or brush up your resume with Brainfuse JobNow. Do you need to practice for the SAT, ACT, AP (Advanced Placement) or U.S. Citizenship tests? Check out our Testing and Education Reference Center for free simulated practice tests and more! There are more than 50 languages spoken in our city. Why not learn a new language with Mango Languages? You can also check out an e-book or listen to an audiobook through Overdrive and the Cloud Library, stream a movie through Kanopy or listen to music with Freegal.
I’m also excited to announce that we just launched Udemy, an online learning platform that offers thousands of on-demand, video-led courses on a variety of topics ranging from business, to information technology, and even personal development. Check out more information here: http://www.longbeach.gov/library/news/udemy/.
Our youth can connect with a live tutor with Brainfuse HelpNow, a resource supported by the Library Foundation, for homework assistance and our little ones can enjoy animated, read aloud books with Tumblebook Junior. Virtual story times are now available on the Library’s Facebook page and Youtube channel. Please visit www.longbeach.gov/library and enjoy “Your Library at Home.”
What if you don’t have a Long Beach Public Library card? No problem! It is even easier than ever to get one. You can sign up online and then call 562.570.7500 to activate your library card. Library staff are standing by Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm to assist.
While some Long Beach Public Library staff are busy preparing and curating online content and answering your library questions, other Library staff have been redeployed to assist during this novel coronavirus pandemic. All City of Long Beach employees are registered disaster workers, and this includes the staff at Long Beach Public Library. Library staff have been working at shelters and sewing facial coverings, while others are answering phone calls at the City’s Joint Information Center (JIC) or taking calls from seniors in collaboration with our City’s Department of Health and Human Services.
We can’t wait to welcome our Long Beach community back into our facilities once we are able, and we are in the process of planning library services for that time while abiding by any restrictions that are in place. We know that people will need help with searching for jobs, connecting to social services and accessing resources to meet their personal and educational goals. Every dollar that you donate will help our Long Beach residents with this effort. Until we can see you again, please enjoy “Your Library at Home” while you Stay Safer at Home.
Stay safe, take care, and thank you!
Director of Library Services
Long Beach Public Library
16th Annual Grape Expectations
On June 9, 2019 we celebrated the 16th annual Grape Expectations gala in support of the Long Beach Public Library Foundation. Over 300 guests enjoyed premier silent and live auctions featuring fine wines and exciting experiences, dined on gourmet foods with expertly chosen wine pairings by Randy Kemner of The Wine County, and raised more than $180,000 to help us support the Long Beach Public Library in transforming lives.
This year, we were proud to honor Marathon Petroleum Corporation with the 2019 Library Leadership Award and Victor and Patricia McCarty with the 2019 Durnin Family Award.
Marathon Petroleum Corporation, formerly Andeavor and Tesoro, generously supports the Library’s Mobile Studio, allowing it to travel to libraries, parks, schools, and community events throughout the city and host workshops to teach robotics, 3D printing, graphic design, coding, and more. Learn more about how Marathon Petroleum supports innovative programs at the Library. Click HERE.
Vic and Patty McCarty have supported library programs in Long Beach since 1999. Vic was one the Library Foundation’s earliest Board members and continues to provide guidance as a member of the Foundation’s Finance Committee. Vic and Patty have generously donated to support programs and technology at the Mark Twain Library, the Michelle Obama Library, and the new Main Library opening later this summer. Learn more about Vic and Patty’s dedication to literacy and education. Click HERE.
We were thrilled to welcome Jennifer Silver, President of the Southland Council of Teachers of English and Dr. Bill Younglove of the California Association of Teachers of English Board of Directors who attended our gala to recognize the Dictionary Days program with the California Association of Teachers of English 2019 Award of Merit. In accepting the award, Kate Azar, Library Foundation Executive Director, announced that the Library Foundation shares this honor with the Earl B. and Loraine H. Miller Foundation for making this program possible. Learn more about this statewide honor for Dictionary Days. Click HERE.
One of our favorite moments of the night reminded us how one person’s support for the Library can make a difference for so many. Sanghak Kan, a dedicated Library volunteer, shared his story with our attendees. After immigrating to the United States from Cambodia with his family, Sanghak discovered the Mark Twain Library where he connected with others in his community and his family benefited from the Library Foundation funded Family Learning Center and Summer Reading programs. Sanghak and his family now volunteer their time at the Library every weekend to support the Khmer language programs. Read Sanghak’s story. Click HERE.
After Sanghak shared his story, 70 attendees raised their bid paddles during our Live Ask to donate to the Library Foundation.
Thank you to everyone who donated, attended, volunteered, bid, and celebrated library programs with us. We hope to see you at the next Grape Expectations!
Click for Grape Expectations Photos
THANK YOU TO OUR 2019 GRAPE EXPECTATIONS COMMITTEE VOLUNTEERS
Sean Reilly, Chair
Mary Hancock Hinds
THANK YOU TO OUR 2019 GRAPE EXPECTATIONS SPONSORS
THANK YOU TO OUR APPETIZER SPONSORS