Winter may still be showing its teeth but islanders can hit the greens like it’s spring at the Vashon Library next Friday and Saturday nights during the second annual “Swingin’ in the Stacks”mini golf fundraiser.
Hosted by the Vashon Friends of the Library, proceeds from the event will help the group fund library programming that the King County Library System doesn’t have the money for. Last year’s inaugural event brought in about $2,000.
“Libraries aren’t just for reading anymore,” Lisa Lucke, a Vashon Friends of the Library member and the event’s main organizer, said. “So much is offered outside the realm of what you typically expect from a library — it’s almost like a community center of sorts.”
Events like the library’s annual May the 4th Star Wars celebration, teen nights, yoga, guest speakers and life-sized Candy Land game, are among the “non-reading”offerings that the Friends group helps support.
“Teen nights are incredibly popular,” Lucke said of the free, monthly program — also supported by VARSA — for sixth- through twelfth-graders. “There were over 100 kids at the last one.”
Most public libraries in the U.S. have “friends” groups like Vashon’s and it was a few out on the East coast that sparked the idea for the mini golf event.
“We always just held book sales to raise money,” Lucke explained. “But last year we really wanted to do something different, and we talked to librarians in Connecticut and New Hampshire who were doing these mini golf events. Now these were in libraries that are huge compared to ours, two-stories, and they had the golf courses set up over both levels. But we thought we could set something up just as fun, albeit on a smaller scale.”
This year’s event will feature nine holes, and like last year, each has a theme — created with items the group found primarily at Granny’s Attic.
“We’re bringing the Puget Sound hole back this time; it was probably the most popular,” Lucke noted. “It will be bigger and better than ever. I think I collected every stuffed orca that came through Granny’s this year.”
In addition to the orca-bedecked Puget Sound hole, there will also be a Don Quixote hole — complete with windmill — a Bridges of Madison County hole and even a St. Patrick’s Day hole, but organizers didn’t want to give away all of their suprises so the other five are up to participants to discover.
New this year will be actual holes in small platforms covered in green felt that Lucke’s husband built with lumber donated from Island Home Center & Lumber. And by popular demand, there will be two nights of putting through the stacks.
“We lost our minds and added another night,” Lucke said with a laugh. “There was such a crush of people last year, the line was out the door. Our jaws dropped.”
The Friday evening event this year is for adults only — ages 21 and up. There will be beer, wine and food from Snapdragon available for purchase. ID will be checked at the door.
Saturday night is family night, with an all-play family course, cookies and soft drinks for purchase and a special “mini golf for minis” toddler section, for all the kids under 4 with a mean line drive.
Of course, there will be books for sale, and a raffle too.
Tickets, with designated “tee times” for those who don’t want to wait, are available in advance at the front desk of the library, but will also be available at the door.
“It’s always hard asking people to donate, especially on this island, where a lot of that goes on,” Lucke said of the endeavor. “But people just don’t realize the extent of what our libraries have to offer. It’s really going to be cool, kind of nutty.”
Swingin’ in the Stacks will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, March 15 (ages 21 and up only; tickets cost $10 per person), and from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, March 16 (family night; tickets cost $5 per person and $2 per child for the toddler area), at the Vashon Library.