Party in the Library

The Hartnell College Foundation raised almost $400,000 through an 80-minute online “party” that was inspired when COVID-19 forced cancellation of Hartnell’s most important yearly fundraiser, Party in the Library.

This year’s net income of $399,623 from auction purchases, drawing tickets, donations, pledges and sponsorships for the May 9 event via Zoom conference was presented on May 20 to the foundation’s board of directors.

That is the second highest total since Party in the Library began 14 years ago. The in-person celebration typically draws about 400 supporters who enjoy gourmet food, wines, live music and more. This year’s online event, with much lower expenses, attracted 100 viewers ― many of whom were dressed up and enjoying a glass of wine or cocktail.

In addition to raising support for Hartnell and its students, the event also features presentation of an annual Leadership Award. The 2020 honor went to Anne Secker, an attorney, Salinas-area community leader and two-time past president of the Hartnell College Foundation Board of Directors.

Party in the Library is the foundation’s single largest fundraiser, with proceeds leveraged at a rate of 12 to 1 through grants, other events and giving from business and individuals. Raising the stakes even further was the ongoing financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Hartnell and its students.

“Our sponsors, donors and committee members stuck by us and continued to support us with their dollars, leadership, time and a range of resources so that others would be inspired to support students at this time of transition,” said event Co-Chair Susan Gill. Fellow co-chairs were Alfred Diaz-Infante and Kurt Gollnick, all members of the foundation board.