From cash to container plants, the Women’s Club of Malba is spending some green to keep the Whitestone library green for a very long time.
In their latest charity effort, the club gave the Queens Library Foundation $25,000 to maintain the outdoor garden outside the Whitestone branch at 151-10 14th Rd.
“We are delighted that the Women’s Club of Malba is supporting the reading garden at the Whitestone Library,” said Vincent Arcuri Jr., president of the Queens Library Foundation board of directors. “Through its endowment, the club will ensure that the garden will provide hours of relaxation, literacy, and environmental learning and outdoor enjoyment for generations to come.”
The women’s club is able to give to the community more than ever since the sale of the its clubhouse in the fall of 2012, according to Rosemarie Scarola, who is currently serving as first vice president. The Center Drive clubhouse had been used by the club since its start in 1933, but financial difficulty from rising taxes and other expenses led to the sale, and the women do not plan to buy another headquarters.
Instead, funds from the sale are being given to nonprofit foundations, with the library garden grant following a $100,000 endowment in 2013 to buy a new, state-of-the-art ambulance for the Whitestone Volunteer Ambulance Service.
Scarola said that the organization always chooses local charities for their donations because they want to be sure that the funds will directly impact the community in a meaningful way.
“You give to a big organization, the organization gets like 3 dollars, and you’re paying for the CEOs,” said Scarola, who served as president of the club from 1988 to 1990, “so we try to be a little more careful with that.”
A reading came alive for some local children when an alligator visited the Whitestone branch of the Queens library.
Children’s Librarian Susan Scatena promised that if at least 300 children registered for summer reading, and they collectively read at least 4,000 books, she would read a story to a “big, scaly, live alligator.”
According to the Queens Library, they surpassed that goal, with 344 children registering and completing 4,595 books.
Wally was handled by reptile trainer Erik Callendar, who taught the children about alligators during the reading.
Yesterday’s reading wasn’t the first time Scatena has motivated her young readers with a “wild challenge.” Each year, she promises that if they meet their summer reading goals, she will perform an over-the-top stunt. Previously, she has sat in a tub of JELL-O; dressed in a rabbit suit and kissed a bunny; and cuddled an enormous python.