Eau Claire library campaign gets $1.5 million gift

Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 7:21 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire accepts a $1.5M gift from the L. E. Phillips Family Foundation for its Story Builder campaign. This is the largest pledge in the history of the library, and it brings funding to almost 93% of the total project cost ($18.5M).

The City of Eau Claire has invested $11.5M to renovate the library’s failing mechanical systems while the Story Builder campaign is raising an additional $7M in private funds to expand and enhance the library’s physical space.

The L. E. Phillips Family Foundation, which was established by local businessman Lewis E. Phillips, originally secured naming rights to the Eau Claire Public Library with a $320,000 donation in 1974.

With its $1.5M lead gift, the L. E. Phillips Family Foundation has reaffirmed its longstanding commitment to the library, securing naming rights for the building for as long as it remains on its current site. The library will also house a permanent display honoring L. E. Phillips and his contributions to the Eau Claire community.

Library Board President and Story Builder Campaign Co-Chair Bob Eierman says, “This gift is a cornerstone contribution to the Story Builder campaign. We are excited and gratified that that L. E. Phillips family will continue their strong support for the library. With our other major donors and almost 600 community members, Eau Claire has demonstrated its willingness to make a major financial investment in the future of the library. The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library pledges to make the best possible use of this investment to advance our mission to support lifelong learning in this community by providing the library it needs and deserves.”

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