Kiekhofer-Dickey Endowment Fund for the Friends of the Brownell Library
“We’re one of the most successful of the Friends’ groups in Rhode Island,” Raya Goff, past president of the Friends of the Brownell Library, exclaims proudly. “We have almost 300 members, many of whom are summer residents of Little Compton.”
Founded in 1992, the Friends raise money for materials and programs at the Brownell Library through members’ dues, donations, memorial gifts, and an annual book sale which this past summer brought in $4,500.
“We have some very, very generous people,” says Dee Holliday, co-president. One of those generous supporters is John Dickey, a library patron and Little Compton summer resident who gave the Friends the gift to create this endowment in his name and that of his wife, Emilie (Kiekhofer) Dickey.
“The money just came out of the blue,” Raya says. “We think it’s the largest gift the Friends have ever received.”
“Whether someone gives $5, $500, or more to us, it’s someone giving. We appreciate every gift, and everyone gets a handwritten thank you note. Some people are extremely generous,” Dee states.
Of the library, Raya says, “It’s a small town library, which performs most of the services of much larger libraries.” The Brownell Trust is responsible for the library building, and the town provides funds for staff salaries and benefits.
“We (the Friends) pay for the bulk of the usual library materials, and the town budget committee obviously is very pleased with that,” Raya continues. Currently, the Friends support all programs for children and teens including the summer programs generated by the state of Rhode Island., the summer Wi-Fi tent in the back yard, computers, museum passes, adult lectures and movies, and the biannual newsletter.
Of the decision to partner with the Foundation for their endowment, Raya comments, “The Rhode Island Foundation has always been here. It seems like you could hardly argue with their good management, and that’s what we want. We want Mr. Dickey’s fund to grow.”