Medina Journal-Register — Local libraries are always looking for different and unique ways to supplement their budgets. Thanks to some shared history, the Yates Community Library and Leonard Oakes Estate Winery got together on Saturday for the second straight year for the Third Annual Eat, Drink, and Be Literary event.
The fundraiser allows those who attend a chance to sample a few different wines while enjoying a variety of food as well as live music.
Librarian Emily Cebula said the event has almost doubled every year it has been held, and every year so far has been tweaked to make it better for those who enter.
This year, the Easy Street Big Band, featuring musicians from the Lyndonville Central School District, performed big band era music and some cover songs in front of between 120 and 150 people.
“Our goal this year was to draw 150 people and if we’re not there, we’re close,” Cebula said.
Also different this year is the date of the event. Instead of earlier in the summer, Cebula said the date moved to late August in an effort to avoid extreme heat and humidity. Saturday night could not have been better weather-wise, she said.
Cebula praised Leonard Oakes for their help and cooperation in planning the event. She mentioned how Eloise Oakes was a school librarian and that “libraries are close to their heart.”
Jerod Thurber, an owner at the winery, agreed. He explained how his grandmother, Eloise, put down roots in libraries.
“She was the matriarch of the family for a long time,” he said, adding that her husband, Leonard, is the one who established the winery’s reputation.
Bliss Thurber, a 6th-grade teacher in Lyndonville (and Jerod’s wife), said she uses the Yates Community Library often.
“I use it as a resource whenever I need multiple copies of a book,” she said. “They get them from the NIOGA system and that way I don’t have to purchase the books and neither does the school.”
Bliss said she has worked closely with Cebula and said libraries are “very important” to the community.
Jim and Debbie Schmitt were among those in attendance on Saturday and they said they were there to support the library, visit with friends and enjoy the music.
“The Oakes are good friends and we want to support the library,” Jim said. “It’s a wonderful night out of dancing, music, wine, you can’t beat it.”
Debbie added, “This is a great evening, with a lot to enjoy. I’d love to see more events like this.”