Levels raises $6K for GN library equipment

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A fundraising campaign to help update the audio visual equipment at the Levels program at the Main Branch of the Great Neck Public Library has raised more than $6,000, a week after it started. 

“People have been really generous,” said Lisa Currie, a former Great Neck resident who started the fundraising project.

The campaign, which started on July 2, has raised $6,855 as of press time. Donations to the fundraiser can be made on kickstarter.com/projects/1467961549/levels-of-great-neck until Aug. 25. 

Any money raised during that period, Currie said, will go to updating the equipment of the room, located in the basement of the Main Branch located at 159 Bayview Avenue.   

“The equipment is very old and outdated,” said Currie, now a resident of Manhasset.

Levels, Currie said, is a room in the library where high school students can produce theater productions without the assistance of a teacher or theater director.

“They become the leaders,” Currie said. “The teenagers are encouraged to take leadership.”

She said the equipment needed for Levels includes stage lights, computers and microphones used during theater productions at Levels. 

Currie said she wanted to start the fundraiser because she used Levels as a teenager growing up in Great Neck.

“It felt like a second home to us,” she said. 

She said she will donate the money raised during the fundraiser to the library after the renovation of the Main Branch is completed in the fall of 2015. 

The Main Branch is scheduled to close in November of this year to allow for infrastructure repairs to take place, including a new roof, insulated windows, a revamp of the building’s HVAC system and new lighting.

The renovation is expected to result in up to a year’s closure for the Main Branch.

Currie said she started the campaign after seeing the room in a state of disrepair in early June, while preparing for Levels’ 40th anniversary picnic. 

“I was disappointed to see the room run down, like much of the library is,” Currie said. 

She said other people who had used the room during their time as a high school student at Great Neck were asking how they could help to make sure the room had updated equipment. 

“I think that people who used levels as teenagers are very passionate about the place that it holds in their lives,” Currie said. 

She said she attended a meeting of the Great Neck Public Library Board of Trustees on June 17 to “make sure that I had the blessing of the library board for this fundraiser.”

Currie said she was told to specify that the donation was to only to go the Levels program. 

Marietta DiCamillo, president of the library’s board of trustees, said she greatly appreciates Currie’s efforts in raising money for the Levels program. 

“We were delighted to learn that Lisa Currie, a Manhasset resident, has taken the initiative to fund raise for the Great Neck Levels program and we eagerly await their contribution,” DiCamillo said. 

She also said she hopes the board of trustees will repaint and recarpet the Levels room during the renovation of the Main Branch, so that money raised through the fundraiser can go to updating the audio visual equipment in the room.  

Efforts to reach Library officials for comment on if the room would be recarpeted and repainted during the Main Branch renovation were unavailing.

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