Sulphur library celebrates first birthday since reopening

Susan Holland/Westside Eagle Observer
An elaborately decorated birthday cake is displayed at the Sulphur Public Library's first birthday celebration Saturday, Sept. 9. The cake featured edible versions of several items from popular books, including the spider from Charlotte's Web, Hank the Cowdog, Winnie the Pooh's honeypot and Sherlock Holmes' cap and magnifying glass.
Susan Holland/Westside Eagle Observer An elaborately decorated birthday cake is displayed at the Sulphur Public Library's first birthday celebration Saturday, Sept. 9. The cake featured edible versions of several items from popular books, including the spider from Charlotte's Web, Hank the Cowdog, Winnie the Pooh's honeypot and Sherlock Holmes' cap and magnifying glass.

SULPHUR SPRINGS -- Birthday balloons and other festive decorations greeted visitors to the Sulphur Springs Public Library on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 9, as they arrived for the library's first birthday celebration.

About 60 people turned out for the event. Library director Melinda Griffin, library board members, and members of the Bentonville/Bella Vista branch of Altrusa International greeted patrons and guests and distributed party hats, birthday glasses and other favors. A free children's book was given to each youngster who attended.

A bicycle giveaway was also a part of the celebration. Twenty-four bicycles donated by Pedal It Forward, from Bentonville/Bella Vista, were distributed to people from ages 2 to 76. Griffin explained that the organization accepts used bikes, refurbishes them for reuse, and gives them to anyone who asks. She said she made a connection with them through the Altrusa volunteers. Since 2014, more than 6,500 bikes have been donated to those in need.

Abby Young, Lynn Howard and June Murray were honored as library Volunteers of the Year. Each was given a framed certificate of appreciation, and each will be able to select a book of their choice to be donated to the library in their name.

Renee Wall, librarian at Gamble Elementary School in Centerton, was on hand, dressed for the occasion as a colorful piece of cake. Wall has been a volunteer at the library's summer reading program, arriving each week in a costume related to the theme. Sulphur Springs mayor Shane Weber also attended to show his support for the library, and Sulphur Springs firefighters who were attending a training class in the building dropped in for refreshments.

An elaborately decorated cake featuring edible versions of items from several popular storybooks was made by Kim Barber Rogers. Cake was served by library volunteers and Altrusa members. Rice Krispie treats, Little Debbie snacks, chips and bottled water were also available.

A few gifts were opened at the birthday party. When Griffin asked for volunteers to open the packages, several children eagerly jumped up to do the job. Gifts included books, book bins, other supplies, and sports equipment for checkout.

Much progress has been made since the library reopened in the fall of 2022. Thanks to the efforts of Griffin and many loyal volunteers, it continues to expand its inventory and its programs. Now, with 6,900 items in its inventory, a drive is underway to collect funds for new shelving. Anyone interested may contribute toward a goal of $4,000 by donating on GoFundMe or in person at the library, located at 512 S. Black. Bicycles for the Pedal It Forward program are also being accepted at the library.

photo Submitted Photo Lynn Howard, Abby Young and June Murray display their certificates of appreciation after being honored as Volunteers of the Year for the Sulphur Springs Public Library. In addition to the certificate, honorees will be able to choose a book to be donated to the library in their names. Awards were given at the librarys birthday party on Saturday, Sept. 9.
photo Susan Holland/Westside Eagle Observer Melinda Griffin (right), Sulphur Springs Public Library director, reaches to get the first piece of birthday cake cut at the librarys celebration on Saturday, Sept. 9. Serving cake is Abby Young, who was honored at the celebration earlier as one of the librarys Volunteers of the Year. Library patron Lucas Mann (center) waits to be served cake.
photo Susan Holland/Westside Eagle Observer June Murray, Sulphur Springs library board member (left), visits with Maurine Styles during the library's first birthday celebration while Lucas Mann, of Sulphur Springs, an eighth grader at Gravette schools, browses through library selections. Melinda Griffin (right), Sulphur library director, is enjoying her piece of birthday cake at the right.
photo Susan Holland/Westside Eagle Observer Renee Wall (left), librarian at Gamble Elementary School in Centerton, waits to be served cake as several young patrons at the Sulphur Springs Public Library enjoy refreshments at the library's birthday celebration. Pictured at the serving table are Lynn Howard and Abby Young, library Volunteers of the Year, and Altrusa member Sue McEvoy.
photo Susan Holland/Westside Eagle Observer Maurine Styles, Sulphur Springs Public Library board member, browses through the children's area at the library during the first birthday celebration held Saturday, Sept. 9. Behind Styles are several birthday gifts opened at the celebration and in the background library volunteers and Altrusa members prepare to serve cake to visitors.
photo Susan Holland/Westside Eagle Observer Lu Hoffer, of Rose, Okla., helps her son, Kang Hoffer, 8 months old, place books on a shelf during the first birthday celebration at Sulphur Springs Public Library Saturday, Sept. 9. The Hoffers recently moved to Oklahoma from Sulphur Springs, where they lived next door to the library, and Lu says they miss their frequent visits.
photo Susan Holland/Westside Eagle Observer Shane Weber (standing, center), mayor of Sulphur Springs, visits with Maurine Styles, a member of the Sulphur Springs Public Library board, at the library's first birthday celebration Saturday, Sept. 9, while several library patrons enjoy refreshments. Behind the pair are several library birthday gifts which children opened during the event.
photo Susan Holland/Westside Eagle Observer Four children scramble to open a birthday gift during the Sulphur Springs Public Librarys first birthday celebration on Saturday, Sept. 9. When Melinda Griffin, library director, asked for volunteers to help open the librarys gifts, several children quickly jumped in to take their turns, in groups of three or four, to reveal the contents.
photo Susan Holland/Westside Eagle Observer Shane Weber, mayor of Sulphur Springs, poses with Renee Wall, librarian at Gamble Elementary School in Centerton, at the Sulphur Springs Public Library's first birthday celebration Saturday, Sept. 9. Wall dressed as a colorful piece of cake for the festive celebration and Weber was on hand to show his support for the library.
photo Susan Holland/Westside Eagle Observer Shane Weber (right rear), mayor of Sulphur Springs, poses with Renee Wall (in costume), librarian at Gamble Elementary School in Centerton, and several young library patrons with some of the bicycles given away at the Sulphur Library birthday celebration Saturday, Sept. 9. Bicycles were donated by Pedal It Forward in Bentonville/Bella Vista.