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"Once Upon a Library" Gala


Virtual Event: October 19 through October 23, 2021


Grand Gala Event: Saturday, October 23, 2021
388 Main Street, Ellsworth, WI
5:00 pm Social Hour (cash bar)
6:30 pm Dinner

We invite you to join us in celebrating and financially supporting the Ellsworth Public Library during this once-in-a-lifetime gala event. The building’s fundraising campaign is in the final phase; however, it’s the funds from this event that will finance the furnishings and exterior landscaping. 


Our goal is to raise $200,000 to cover these additional costs and make the new library a source of pride in our community for generations to come.   


The “Once Upon a Library” event will take place virtually with silent and premier auctions, a fund-a-need drive, and pledge, October 19-23, culminating in an in-person grand gala event on Saturday, October 23 to be held pre-construction in the future home of the library at 388 Main Street in Ellsworth. 

Thank you in advance for your generous support in making the new library a source of pride in our community for generations to come.  

Event Schedule

October 19

Virtual Welcome to the Gala!

Silent Auction and Fund-a-Need Begins


October 20

Featured Guest Speaker


October 21

Premier Auction Begins at 9 AM!


October 22

Auctions & Fund-a-Need Continue


October 23

The Grand Gala Event!

5:00 PM - Social Hour Begins

6:30 PM - Dinner is Served by River Valley Catering

8:00 PM - Silent Auction Closes

8:30 PM - Premiere Auction Closes

    Program & Pledge Drive Begin

9:30 PM - Checkout

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to purchase a ticket to participate in the virtual “Once Upon a Library” Gala events?

Tickets are only needed for the in-person Grand Gala event on Saturday, October 23. You can participate in the silent auction, premier auction, fund-a-need, and pledge drive on our website beginning on October 19. The grand gala program will also be live-streamed on the Friends of the Ellsworth Public Library Facebook page at 8:30 pm on October 23.

How do I bid on auction items? 
If you would like to bid on any of our auction items, you will need to register by clicking 'Sign In' on the top right corner of the bidding home page. After registering, find the item you would like to bid on and click either 'bid' or 'buy now.' You will then have the option to create a max bid. This will allow the system to automatically place bids on your behalf when someone bids against you up to your max amount. Bidding for the silent auction will end at 8:00 pm on October 23. Bidding for the premier auction items will end at 8:30 pm on October 23.   

How can I participate in-person?
Tickets to the grand gala event on October 23 at the future home of the library (388 Main St.) can be purchased on our website or at the Ellsworth Public Library. You can purchase individual tickets or an entire VIP table of 8.

What is the dress code for the in-person event?
We encourage guests to dress in semi-formal attire. 


Can I bid on silent and premier auctions and take part in fund-a-need and pledge at the event?

Yes, although all bidding will take place online via your mobile device. The silent and premier auctions, fund-a-need, and pledge drive will conclude at the Grand Gala event. 

How do I pay for my winning item(s) after the auction closes?  
When you register to bid, a credit card will be required. After the auction closes, your card will be processed to pay for your winning items. If you are attending the in-person grand gala event, you may also pay via cash or check by visiting the registration table at the end of the evening. 

How can I obtain a receipt for my donation(s)? 
Click your profile icon in the top right corner of the bidding home page. You will then find a tab labeled “receipt.” When you click on this tab, you will find an itemized statement of your donations. You can choose to email this to yourself or print it. 

If I win an item, how will I receive it? 
Items will be available to pick up at the end of the grand gala event on October 23. A label with your name will be adhered to your winning items on the silent auction tables. Any unclaimed items will be available to pick up from the library during business hours. Alternatively, winning bidders within a 20-mile radius of the library can choose to have their items delivered to them for a $20 fee. You can purchase the delivery option by clicking on the 'Purchase Item Delivery' tab.  


Hasn’t fundraising already taken place? Why this event now?

The fundraising to date has been to cover building remodeling and infrastructure costs. The community has been supportive and thanks to everyone's generosity, we're nearing our goal for these hard costs! To make the full vision for the new library a reality, this last fundraising push is needed to furnish the new space with shelving, furniture, and more. Exterior landscaping will be the final touch to make the building a source of pride for our community for generations to come.

Our Story
Once upon a time, in May of 1924, a group of passionate community members opened a humble library at the home of Mrs. Badger in Ellsworth, WI. As the needs of the community grew and the library’s services expanded, a larger space was needed. The library moved to the basement of the Fireman’s Opera House, then to the Combacker building, and finally to its current location, its home for the past 63 years. Today our library serves 2,823 patrons who check out over 65,000 items annually. To continue to fulfill the educational, informational, cultural, and recreational needs of our community, a change in location of the Ellsworth Public Library is necessary once again.  

Thank you, Event Sponsors!

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