Match Day and the Paper Lion

On Match Day (Wednesday, March 5) at the McPherson County Community Foundation, library supporters will have the opportunity to boost the library Endowment Fund and have their donations matched by MCCF at 50 cents on the dollar.  This is a great fundraising opportunity, but it is not the first nor the most high profile one undertaken by the library board.

plimptonIn 1986, three years after starting the Endowment Fund and working toward a $100,000 goal, the board decided that they needed to stage a BIG event that would be a draw and have significant fundraising potential.  They brought in a celebrity — well-known author and journalist George Plimpton.  His name may not be familiar to many people now, but Plimpton was a household name in the 1980’s, the author of books such as Paper Lion, where he did a very brief stint as a professional football player for the Detroit Lions to write about the experience.

Plimpton’s speech was in the evening at Brown Auditorium on the McPherson College campus, and he spent the day at the McPherson Public Library.  He held a book signing, and library staff at the time remembered him typing pages for his latest book on the library typewriter in the workroom in between appearances.

The library board cleared almost $6,000 for the Endowment from the event — over $12,000 in today’s dollars.