When the idea of building a new library in was in its infancy, Manuel Pihakis remembers sitting down in the late Frank Sarris’ office and telling him that in order to get the project done, someone would need to donate money—and a lot of it.
Sarris responded by asking his secretary to get his longtime friend a check.
“I remember telling him, ‘Frank, I’m not joking. This is serious,’” said Pihakis, also a longtime member of the library board that oversaw the multi-million project. “When I left his office I walked out with a $1.5 million check.”
Now, all these years later, Pihakis was on hand Thursday to celebrate the first birthday of the —an event he knows would have made his late friend all smiles.
What does the milestone mean for Pihakis? It’s simple: “It means the world to me,” he said with a smile.
Also attending were Athena, Bill and Jamie Sarris—all of whom lauded the facility, its staff members and programming.
“I’m thrilled it’s here for everyone to enjoy,” Athena Sarris said. “It’s just wonderful.”
For Susan Poore, library board president, the first year of business at the North Jefferson Avenue building has been a satisfying experience—especially when she sees all the children “smiling, happy and excited” to visit the venue.
“It’s overwhelming but it’s been a great success for us,” she said. “And I love every minute of it.”
Poore said that in the past year, the Frank Sarris Public Library doubled the number of its card holders—even drawing people from surrounding communities such as Peters Township.
Newly hired Library Director Peggy Tseng was also on hand for the birthday celebration, saying that she was happy to be a part of the library and stressing that everyone in the community is welcome to enjoy its amenities.
Editor’s Note: I forgot to mention that volunteers handed out—what else— chocolate bars and chocolate-covered pretzels to those who came in to share in the celebration. Also: If you attended and have photos of the event, feel free to upload them to the story!