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Kittanning library adds kitchen with Smart Foundation gift

Louis B.Ruediger | Leader Times
Kittanning Library Director Beth Milanak pours tea for her guests, Pastor Carl Johnson and Jeane Smart, whose foundation funded the new educational kitchen at the library where tea was being served. Monday April 28, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 12:46 a.m.

Kittanning Public Library staff and volunteers are cooking up fresh ideas for programming in an educational kitchen that was recently built using an $8,800 gift from West Kittanning's Jeane Smart.

“I love that kitchen,” said Smart, 93, who had tea and scones Monday morning in the kitchen completed in March with the funds from her Smart Foundation. “It was bigger than I thought — it's light and airy.”

She and her late husband, Dale, were avid readers who supported the library for years.

The donation arrived as officials were considering a less grand renovation project to help with cleanup issues: They were looking at putting a sink inside a janitor's closet at the library.

“We were washing dishes in our bathroom sink and started cleaning out a janitor's closet when the Smart Foundation called and said they wanted to donate money, asking if we had any projects,” library Director Beth Milanak said.

Milanak said there are plans to host canning and preserving demonstrations, cooking classes for children and healthy-eating programs in the kitchen.

The library has received a donation of Fiesta dinnerware from makers Homer Laughlin China Co. in West Virginia since finishing the kitchen, but more equipment is needed, Milanak said.

The Friends of the Library group will host a lunch and tour of the kitchen from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the Armstrong County Community Day of Giving on May 8.

“We're still on search for cookware, and we're trying to get a kitchen fund set up,” Milanak said.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or



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