Ortt presents checks for local libraries, museums

Photos by Tom Rivers: State Sen Rob Ortt stopped by the Cobblestone Museum this afternoon to present ceremonial checks to public libraries and two museums in Orleans County. The following are pictured, from left: Emily Cebula, director of Yates Community Library; Betty Sue Miller, director of Hoag Library in Albion; Jim Bonafini, president of Cobblestone Museum; Rob Ortt; Janien Klotzbach, president of Medina Railroad Museum; and Sandra Shaw, director of Community Free Library in Holley. Lee-Whedon Memorial Library in Medina also received funding.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 August 2017 at 5:35 pm

ALBION – State Sen. Robert Ortt today presented ceremonial checks to the four public libraries in Orleans, as well as two museums.

Ortt said the libraries and museums stretch their budgets to provide important services to the community.

“I’m a big supporter of the culturals,” Ortt said during a check presentation at the Cobblestone Museum.

The Cobblestone Museum is a National Historic Landmark, the only historic site in Orleans County with that designation.

“The historic landmarks are rare,” Ortt said. “You drive by them everyday and can take them for granted.”

Ortt was able to direct $10,000 to the museum to help support its operations as a National Historic Landmark, and educational and cultural programs. The museum offers interactive educational tours that teach about the history of cobblestone masonry in Western New York, Ortt said.

The state senator also backed $10,000 for the Medina Railroad Museum to install video equipment as a way to educate the public on the history of the railroad and the positive impact it had on the local economy. Videos depicting the cultural, architectural and local rail heritage will play throughout the museum and on the train.

Ortt said the Railroad Museum has been a tourism draw for Orleans County, especially with the annual Thomas the Train Engine and Polar Express rides. He praised the founder, Marty Phelps, for his vision and tenacity in developing the museum.

Phelps, who passed away at age 75 on April 25. His daughter, Janien Klotzbach, is president of the museum’s board of trustees.

She wants the museum to develop more child-friendly interactive exhibits.

Doug Farley, director of the Cobblestone Museum, introduces State Sen. Robert Ortt to local library, museum and elected officials today.

Orleans County library directors were also presented with ceremonial checks. Lee-Whedon Memorial Library in Medina received $10,000 to upgrade its computer wiring system. Yates Community Library will use $10,000 toward reading programs and special projects. The Community Free Library in Holley was presented with $5,000 for marketing efforts, children’s programs, and to extend programs for adults, such as Wacky Wednesday.

Hoag Library in Albion would like to use a $5,000 grant to purchase bookcases for a special collection of hundreds of donated music books. The “Follett Memorial Music Collection,” donated by the Follett family, will be available to community members and students enrolled in music programs at school.

“You all provide educational opportunities for children, adults and people of all ages,” Ortt said. “I’m a big supporter of the libraries and I will continue to be.”

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