Once a week my mother would pack me and my sisters up to head to the Chula Vista Public Library. It is now called the Civic Branch but back then, the South Bay and Eastlake branches did not exist. I remember the music that was played–Vivaldi’s Concerto No. 4 in F Minor I believe–as we were welcomed to the multipurpose room in the back of the children’s wing. I remember the lady with the 50’s behive updo and the cat-eye glasses. I remember doing my first report in third grade on beavers and my mother showing me the encyclopedia section which was any kids report writing lifeline. I remember the uproar about South Bay branch being yellow that just happened to be ahead of it’s time. I remember the empty shelves of that new library that were begging to be filled. I remember the card catalogs and having an absolute admiration for the things that librarians must know. Even now, when I walk into the smell that is unique to the Civic Branch I am immediately taken back to my childhood.
I watched Eastlake be built and the city change so rapidly in the 90’s. I was glad to hear of the Eastlake branch being built into the high school. I will admit I was disappointed with the limited afternoon hours of the Eastlake branch once I started a family of my own. This recently changed with the opening of the Otay Ranch library conveniently located inside the Otay Ranch Mall. Popper fountains and books!!! What can get better than that?
Like with any public resource, all of this requires funding. The Chula Vista Library Foundation hosts a wonderful opportunity for the community to get involved. On Saturday May 2nd, 2015 this small group of highly dedicated individuals brought local vendors and contributors together to help achieve some lofty financial goals in an event properly named Bon Appetite. Members of the community pay $40 per person to enter the sectioned off food pavilion at the Otay Ranch Town Center right next to the Library Hub. Local vendors provide free drinks, food, musical entertainment, silent and live auction prizes all benefiting the Chula Vista Public Libraries!
Over…….. silent auction prizes were offered. Baskets ranged from Floaties swim lessons to….. . My personal favorite was the four pack of Van Halen concert tickets including parking and a buffet that went during the ever entertaining live auction. My hats off to the auctioneer and foundation member, Rev. Christian DeMent of
Let’s talk food! The food was outstanding. The San Diego Metro KOA located off Second Avenue showcased their catering–I didn’t even know the campground had catering–featuring their mouthwatering pulled pork sandwiches. Savoie, the mall’s French Italian not only served an amazing spread but also made the even possible by covering some unexpected insurance costs for the event. Venga Venga featured their esquites, a corn medley side dish inspired by food from Guadalajara which kept you coming back or seconds, or thirds even. And what is a meal without dessert? Giggling Goodies, a mom owned and run custom order bakery, made tantalizing mini treats for all who dare to try not to succumb to their salted caramel cupcakes. With over a dozen vendors providing all the food and drinks there was something for every taste.
It was amazing to see the community come together to support such a worthy cause. The CVLF raised over $25,000 during this event alone. These funds will go toward having the Otay Ranch Hub open on Sundays in addition to its regular hours, assist the renovation of the Civic Center Branch’s auditorium,where my family and I watched movies as a kid, and contribute to the relocation of the Chula Vista Heritage Museum.
As a life long Chula Vista resident I am proud to see what our community can do together to support new memories for our future generations. I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to contribute to the legacy of the Chula Vista Library. Watching my children now building those bonds to this town and its special places–just like the library–makes my heart swell with pride just a bit more.