Hawaiian clad crowds abound for library fundraiser

With severe winter weather Saturday night, a large group arrived at the former First National Bank building in Wadena hoping to get away from it all.

Under the shade of a grass umbrella, library fundraiser attendees indulged on meats, cheese, and confectionery delights Saturday at the former First National Bank building in Wadena. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal

Under the shade of a grass umbrella, library fundraiser attendees indulged on meats, cheese, and confectionery delights Saturday at the former First National Bank building in Wadena. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal

Many, wearing their Hawaiian shirts and leis, walked past tiki torches, pineapples and grass thatching, as the former bank building was temporarily converted into a Hawaiian escape.

At every corner of the building stood beer, wine and liquor vendors ready to serve, while the middle of the room boasted all sorts of treats for event goers.

Most people walked around with maps, not to find their way around the building, but to imagine what this place could become if converted into Wadena's next new city library. The building filled up as the night went on, with about 105 tickets turned in at the door, according to library branch manager Renee Frethem. Ticket sales and auction sales brought in just under $5,000 towards the goal.

The vault at the First National Bank in Wadena would be the location of audio/visual resources. Some droids offered an explanation. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal

The vault at the First National Bank in Wadena would be the location of audio/visual resources. Some droids offered an explanation. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal

This was the first official fundraiser for the new library. A start towards the $2.4 million goal to remodel the bank into a library with nearly double the space of the current building, just on the main floor. It was the first time many people have been able to look into the bank building to see how it could be remodeled since it closed.

For others, like Jonell Asfeld, the bank was a familiar place, as she worked there for 33 years before it closed and she moved to Wadena State Bank. Asfeld last worked at the former bank as a compliance officer and said she supported the idea of the bank being converted into a library as it would be a shame to see it go unused. 

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Source, image(s), credits & more: WadenaPJ | mjohnson