NARRAGANSETT, R.I. — A campaign to raise $2 million to move Narragansett’s library into the former Belmont building will receive a $500,000 matching grant from the Murray Family Charitable Foundation.
The foundation announced Monday that it will make the matching grant to the Save Our Library Fundraising Campaign, whose goal is to raise $2 million to support the Maury Loontjens Memorial Library’s move into the Belmont building.
Voters in 2016 approved up to $5.8 million in borrowing for the purposes of improving town library facilities, and the town bought the Belmont building in March 2018 for $2.8 million, but three of five council members voted in January to sell the building. The building is still owned by the town and has not been listed for sale.
“Narragansett is our home and we are committed to supporting our community by investing in a modern new location for the wonderful Maury Loontjens Memorial Library,” Terrence Murray of the Murray Family Charitable Foundation and honorary chairperson of the Save Our Library Fundraising Campaign, said.
“Narragansett’s public library is a treasured community institution where people of all ages and walks of life come together to read, learn, and explore,” Murray said. “That’s why our family is proud to make this matching grant to ensure that Narragansett has the modern new library space that our community needs and deserves.”
On a dollar-for-dollar basis, the grant will match pledges to the Save Our Library Fundraising Campaign up to $500,000.
The campaign will formally launch in September with a goal of raising $2 million. Of that amount, $1.2 million of the capital campaign will be designated for construction and renovations, and $800,000 will create an endowment for future operation of the library, the foundation said.
Suzanne and Terrence Murray created the Providence-based nonprofit foundation to honor Rhode Island people and institutions. Terrence Murray had a long career at Fleet Financial Group.
“This generous matching grant by the Murray family is an incredible boost to our fundraising campaign to support the library’s move into the Belmont building in Pier Marketplace,” Daniel R. Barry of DRB & Associates, fundraising coordinator for the campaign, said. “With this and other individual and charitable foundation pledges that have been made, we are already over halfway to our construction fundraising goal.”
Save Our Library Fundraising Campaign Co-chairman Jim Bennett said the gift demonstrates the family’s commitment to the town.
“This fundraising campaign needs to get started to show the strong financial support that the residents of Narragansett have for moving our library to the Belmont building,” Bennett said. “The citizens of Narragansett have spoken and we are committed to accomplishing the task.”
Jim and Jennifer Bennett will serve as Save Our Library Fundraising Campaign co-chairs, and the campaign’s leadership committee includes Richard Baccari, Andrew and Missy Boss, Murph Carmody, Marguerite Garrahy, John and Barbara Hooper, Laurie Kelly, Paul and Jean Moran, Tom Ritter, Rosalyn Sinclair, Kathy and Mike Sipala and Al and Gerrie Verrecchia.