Flower Memorial Library announces legacy fund

The Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library has a new endowment fund.

Friends of the Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library and the library board of trustees announced they have established a partnership with the Northern New York Community Foundation to create a library legacy fund. It was set up with the help of a bequest from Watertown benefactor Sophia G. Eaton.

“The legacy fund would be used for special initiatives that require more money than other fundraisers can provide,” said board President Constance A. Holberg.

Normally, when the library pursues bigger projects, it has to seek financial help from the City Council.

The foundation will manage and administer the fund while also serving as a place where money can be collected.

So far, $175,000 the library received through the bequest from Ms. Eaton, who died in 2008, was transferred to the fund.

“We knew we were beneficiaries for the bequest for a couple of years,” Mrs. Holberg said. “We had no concept of how much we’d get until we received the money.”

Establishment of the fund was delayed amid complications in settling Ms. Eaton’s estate after William D. O’Brian, who held her power of attorney, stole nearly $100,000 from her. He was sentenced in 2010 to five years’ probation and ordered to pay restitution.

Mrs. Holberg said cooperating with the Community Foundation is a “logical partnership.”

“We’re just so excited to put it all together for the community and for the library,” she said.

Foundation Executive Director Rande S. Richardson is also excited about the new partnership.

“We have these types of funds for many nonprofit organizations,” he said. “We have been a long-term supporter of the library. Any time we’ve been able to work with an organization we invested in, that just enhances that investment.”

To donate to the Friends of the Library Legacy Fund, call Mr. Richardson at 782-7110.

-Reena Singh, Watertown Daily Times staff writer