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Princess Party will benefit library

| Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Little girls are invited to a royal affair fundraiser Aug. 10 at the inaugural Princess Party to benefit the Vandergrift Public Library. The event will be at Pleasant View Brethren Church in Parks.

Coordinated by longtime library volunteer Janice Oberdorf, the princess-theme afternoon will enchant with activities such as wand-decorating and crown-making.

“I wanted to host this fundraiser for the library and thought a princess party would be fun for the girls,” Oberdorf says. “The party is geared for ages 3 to 12, and we are encouraging the girls to dress up in their favorite princess attire, although it's not required.”

Doors open at 1 p.m., and the event will begin with lunch.

“We will serve assorted sandwiches, salad, drinks and cookies. The girls will be decorating their own cupcakes,” Oberdorf says. “This is an indoor event, and the church hall is quite large. We are expecting around 40 young ladies.”

Face-painting, princess-theme music and manicures will be available. Each girl will strike her best princess pose in front of the themed backdrop for a keepsake photo. The photos will be printed onsite during the party.

“These girls can expect an awesome time,” says Donata Hunt, a friend of Oberdorf and party volunteer. “They will be a princess for the day.”

Hunt is a scrapbook enthusiast and designed a 12-inch-by-12-inch sheet ready for framing that each girl can take home.

Vandergrift native Allison Whitesell lives in Lower Burrell now, but has fond memories of afternoons at Vandergrift library.

“It was before computers, me and my friends would meet at the library after school,” says Whitesell, who will accompany her daughter Maryn to the party.

“Maryn is 6, and her favorite princess is Sleeping Beauty, so I'm sure she will don that dress,” Whitesell says. “She will really love the manicures, as she enjoys playing dress-up.”

The library has struggled to meet expenses since state budget cuts in 2005.

“Our budget was slashed by 25 percent, and we operate with a skeleton crew of three librarians,” says library director Charlene Hoffer. “We rely on fundraisers to raise about $6,000 annually to make up for that loss. The library receives no federal money nor do we get school-district funding like some areas.”

The library has been in continuous operation since 1901, and Hoffer credits the dedicated community of volunteers. “They are a godsend.”

Joyce Hanz is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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