Back by popular demand, the Lewes Public Library’s annual Loopin’ for the Library bicycling event is going virtual for the month of June. The self-paced bike ride is an opportunity to work out for oneself and for a good cause.
Participation is simple: Between June 1 and 30, participants ride a total of 20 miles, either all at once or breaking it down into smaller rides that total 20 miles. The ride can be completed outdoors or even indoors on a stationary bike, and registration fees benefit the library.
A new feature this year is the option to form teams. Family, friends, neighbors or co-workers can join forces to make a team, or participants can join one of the existing teams that have been formed. The team captain who recruits the most team members wins a $250 gift certificate donated by Lewes Cycle Sports.
Also new this year is individual fundraising. The library’s goal is to raise $20,000. In order to help the library meet that goal, individuals are being encouraged to invite family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers to sponsor them. The individual who raises the most money in donations will win a gift certificate donated by Lewes Cycle Sports worth $250.
Registration costs are $25 for adults or $10 for teens. Kids (12 or younger) ride for free. Adult and teen participants receive a commemorative pair of Loopin’ bike socks, a Lewes Public Library car magnet, and one entry into the raffle for a $1,000 gift certificate donated by Lewes Cycle Sports. Kids receive their choice of a packet of bicycle spoke beads or a bell for their bike, as well as a Lewes Public Library sticker.
Special incentives are available for those looking for a bigger challenge of up to 400 miles, and additional raffle tickets may be purchased as well. Registration is open through June 30, and full details are available online at tinyurl.com/LoopinLewes2021.
Anyone interested in buying ticket(s) to the raffle for the $1,000 gift certificate can purchase them at the library, Lewes Cycle Sports (cash or check only), Lewes Chamber of Commerce (cash or check only), and Lewes Gourmet/Puzzles (cash or check only). Tickets are priced at $10 each, three for $25, seven for $50 or 20 for $100. Tickets are on sale through June 30, with the drawing taking place on July 1.
Despite the constraints brought on by the pandemic, over the past 12 months the library provided more than 104,400 books and other lending materials to library users and hosted 616 virtual programs attended by 26,565 people. Prior to 2020, an average of 800 customers walked through the library’s doors every day, or nearly 200,000 people each year, to borrow materials and participate in free programs.
All of this was accomplished by a full-time staff of six and a small part-time staff. During non-pandemic times, 200 active volunteers helped by donating more than 16,000 hours of service in a year to keep the library’s operations running smoothly.
As an independent library, the Lewes Public Library must raise nearly half of its operating budget every year —state and county taxes only cover 50 percent of operating costs. Fundraising events such as Loopin’ make possible the many free classes, programs and services the community can enjoy.
For more information about the Lewes Public Library, including virtual programs and services being offered at this time, visit the library’s website at lewes.lib.de.us.