When asked why the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation chose The Winter Park Public Library to kickstart its new facility capital campaign with a $750,000 challenge grant, President and CEO David Odahowski spoke to the motivations behind the gracious grant. “Philanthropy is all about improving a condition or place in the future, and the Winter Park Public Library has always been, and remains to be, a catalyst for that for individuals, families and businesses.”
He notes that libraries specifically “offer a pathway to individual improvement and education with such ease and low-cost.” Furthermore, Mr. Odahowski says, “At libraries, users don’t need credentials, and there are no age or other restrictions – making the pathway always open at the library.”
This year, The Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation is celebrating its 45-year anniversary of giving back to its community. Mr. Odahowski says that this is a motivating factor for why the organization committed to the library grant.
Mr. Odahowski stresses that the location of the future library will amplify its success. “This will be a destination, and it will be a place where people will be able to ‘discover’ the library while on a stroll in the park or on the way to a nearby restaurant.”
He acknowledges that libraries have adapted to many changes over the years – going from books and periodicals to microfiche, beta tapes, CDs and now e-books. And, while the new library will have the learning technology it needs, he says “one of the joys of going to the library on a whim is walking through the stacks, looking at books and authors and leaving with a book out of serendipity. This is a very different experience than the type of destination browsing people do on Amazon.”
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for residents and the community to contribute their treasure, time and talent to something that will benefit generations of all the people of Winter Park.”
To read the full interview with Mr. Odahowski, take a look at our 2017 Impact Statement: wppl_2018annualreport_previewonly.pdf