The Finger Lakes Toy Library (FLTL) will be celebrating five years of operation this Saturday, June 25th from 10am-2pm with a free event at the Shops of Ithaca Mall.
The event will include a storytime with Family Reading Partnership at 10am; a performance by Nate the Great (sponsored by Dryden Mutual Insurance Co.) at 11am; a puppet-making workshop with Lily Silly(1pm), a costume-mask making craft station, and party favors (sponsored by anonymous donors); free cake, cutting at noon, and snacks (sponsored by Wegmans, Greenstar, and Tops), and a silent auction.
“We are so excited that so many area businesses have generously donated items for the silent auction that we will hold as part of our anniversary celebration,” says Erika Mudrak, FLTL Board Secretary. “We hope that you will come to join the festivities and that you will participate in our first ever silent auction to show us your support.”
After officially becoming a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in August of 2016, FLTL began offering playtimes and toy donation days throughout the community in December 2016. By June of 2017, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony held on June 22nd, FLTL opened the doors of its first physical location in Clinton Street Plaza. In October 2021, FLTL moved into a larger location in the Shops of Ithaca Mall, in Space D07 where the Cornell Store used to be.
The anniversary celebration is the first event showcasing FLTL’s new location at the mall, a location which has tremendously increased the organization’s reach and exposure. After hitting pandemic-induced lows in both membership numbers and in incoming donations, FLTL is now doing better than ever and serving 364 member families and growing every day. FLTL not only loans a large variety of toys but also partners with many other area nonprofits to host ‘Playtimes’ throughout the community.
“We are thrilled to be celebrating so much success on our fifth anniversary after six-and-a-half years of hard work growing this important community resource for our area children and their families,” says Debra Eileen Lewis, FLTL Founding Board President. “Watching the community rally around the toy library over these years has been incredibly inspiring. At the risk of being cliche, it really does take a village, and by supporting the toy library our “village” has said loud and clear that children matter. That play matters.”
“This is going to be a really fun event, so please don’t miss this great opportunity to celebrate with us,” says FLTL Director of Operations Josselyn Richards-Daniels. “We are here and thriving thanks to you, after all.”