Most Successful Ever Boutique

•January 13, 2016 • Leave a Comment

FullSizeRender[5]FullSizeRender[4]FullSizeRender[3]FullSizeRender[2]FullSizeRender[1]FullSizeRenderFullSizeRender[4]The whole point of the Holiday Book and Gift Boutique is not to make money but rather to make affordable gifts available to those members of our community who want to give friends and family the perfect gift but haven’t acquired the financial means to do so.  At the Sixth Annual Holiday Book and Gift Boutique, more than one hundred individuals were able to find something for each and every person on their respective shopping lists.

We always love waiting on the little kids who count out their allowance money. quarter by quarter, and who swear us to secrecy as we wrap up their selections for Mommy and Daddy or Sister and Brother.

This year, however, we were especially impressed with a beautiful white-haired woman in a wheelchair.  She was going to wrap up one of the like-new stuffed animals for a 90-year-old friend who lives in  a convalescent home because, in her words, she wanted “to spread the smiles around.”

Credit for the success of this event certainly goes to all the people who donated jewelry, scarves, holiday housewares, Christmas books, stuffed animals and all the other goods that covered the 25 cent, 50-cent, $1, and $3-$5 tables.  We also want to single out for special mention first,  Jonnie Lisman who supervised the pricing of the items over several days by loyal bookies and board members ( Carol Melugin, Nancy Robarge, Carolyn Heiser, and Bonnie Goldstein); second,  JoAnn Van Reenan who managed the volunteers (Cathy Thomason, Cathy Penprase, Lorena Arroyo, Rosemary Tobin, Jonnalyn Cabarles, Arlene Fraser, Blanca Smith, Bernadette McDowell and Beverly Kelley) who set up the tables, cashiered, bagged purchases, helped out the customers and restocked the tables as necessary.

JoAnn, who is also our Treasurer, reported that we made more than $630 this year but even though that’s the highest profit we have ever made, it also indicates that we saw the biggest crowds turnout.  The sheer number of shoppers told us that  even though the recession is supposedly over, it’s not yet time to bring this community outreach program to an end.  Our customers also told us that they really appreciated this opportunity to fill stockings and remember everybody at this special time of  year.

A very special shout out goes to Debbie Hernandez and Becky Rubalcava who brought in the muscle power needed to set up and break down the tables and to move furniture in order to make a space for the sale.

Finally, a very special thank you is extended to Bernadette McDowell and the rest of her staff for graciously hosting this event at the Prueter Library as well as to Sienna Sydlaske who was simultaneously heading up a Star Wars party in the children’s section of the library and which helped bring in even more shoppers to our event as well.

Seventh Annual Holiday Boutique

•November 12, 2015 • Leave a Comment

SnowWhen is a fundraiser not a fundraiser?  A fundraiser is not a fundraiser—when charity begins at home.

It all started during the economic downturn in 2008, when frustrated parents told us they could not afford to buy the cherished classics they found under the tree when they were kids.

That’s when we rolled up our sleeves and got to work.

Our Prueter Library “bookies” (volunteers who sort, clean and price used books) started to set aside a selection of gently-used donations that would provide an affordable alternative (under $1) to cash-strapped parents and grandparents.

And since it is better to give than to receive, the Port Hueneme Friends of the Library also scoured their jewelry boxes, closets, toy chests, DVD collections and garages in search of nearly-new yet gift-quality treasures that youngsters might buy for less than a quarter or two.

Those of us staffing the sale tables look forward to assisting the young people who show up with a long list of people to buy for and a fistful of quarters.  We not only assure them that their allowance will cover their purchases but also provide bags so that Mommy and Daddy (who are still busy shopping) will be suitably surprised come December 25.

In addition, the naming of the “white elephant in the room” has become an unexpected tradition as well. Each year we find an item that we, collectively, are quite positive will never find a buyer—at least not somebody in his or her right mind.

The most memorable, by far, was a toilet plunger decorated in appropriate greenery for St. Patrick’s Day. Sure enough, an adult and her two offspring  snapped it up—allowing that it would be ideal for an unsuspecting Irish relative.

So whether you’re focused on the wearin’ or the savin’ of the green this holiday season, the Port Hueneme Library is the place to be on Saturday December 5 from noon to three.   The event is only open for three short hours so come  early for the best bargains.  And bring a fistful of quarters.


•October 20, 2015 • Leave a Comment

The Friends of the Library Board is pleased to report that receipts for  the 14th Annual Victorian High Tea (invitation only) which included seat ticket sales (@$30) and the two drawings ($10 tickets and 6/$5 tickets) broke the all-time record this year.   JoAnn Van Reenan made a very significant deposit into the FOL checking account to be used to support the various programs we offer at the Prueter Library.  In addition, the number of guests was the highest ever (140 men and women) but because of the additional space created by removing several stacks on the library floor, we all enjoyed plenty of elbow room and easy access when we walked between our tables to get food or to check out the phenomenal creativity of our hostesses.


The one thing that sets the FOL Victorian High Tea apart from all others is the food—the quality, variety and generosity are unparalleled anywhere, and explains, in part, the popularity of our invitation-only event.  A special thanks has already been extended to our inspired chefs by the guests who either piled their tea plates high or partook of seconds and even thirds.  The two food tables actually groaned under the weight of all those delicious bites of baked goods, finger sandwiches, fruit, and candy.

Kudos and credit also goes out to our hard-working board members as well as our volunteer hostesses (Bette Alburtis, Amy Arroyo, Heather Behrens, Donna Breeze, Veronica Centeno, Carol Chapman, Marian Drabkin, Natalie Ferentz, Bonnie Goldstein, Jackie Griffin, Debbie Hernandez, Fran Hruska, Edna Ingram, Beverly Kelley, Marietta King, Miriam Kozlovskis, Colleen McCarthy, Bernadette McDowell  Carmen Nichols, Susan Nielson, Mary Neil, Cathy Penprase, Ellen Rosen, Robin Sills, Cathy Thomason, JoAnn Van Reenan, and Charity Winiarski) who made this event such a huge success.


Double Winner Amy Arroyo

Results of the Voters Choice for Best Table: Colleen McCarthy (Halloween Theme), Debbie Hernandez (Golden Elegance) and Amy Arroyo (Mad Hatters Tea Party).
Results of the Voters Choice for Best Hat: Amy Arroyo, Carol Porto and Christina Weiss.

Do you want to make a totally painless donation to the Friends of the Library”

•September 3, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Ralph's Just make a copy of this letter, bring it the next time you visit Ralph’s and a portion of your purchases for the entire year will go into the Friends of the Library bank account.  Thanks in advance.

Newsletter is out

•June 24, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Check out the newest newsletter for Summer. Thanks to new editor Debbie Hernandez for the new look.

Korenstein Wows Audience that included Bard Family

•May 11, 2015 • Leave a Comment

KornsteinNot only is the Port of Hueneme the sole deep-water port between Los Angeles and San Francisco, but it is also an operating facility of Naval Base Ventura County.

Connie Korenstein, who retired from a 30-year career teaching Ventura County history, agreed to present ”The Port of Hueneme: A Father and Son Legacy” at the Prueter Library on Sunday, May 3, 2015.

She told the story of the development of the port, beginning in 1871 with Thomas Bard’s vision of a wharf to ship out local farmer’s crops. She based her research on several non-fiction books by the late Powell Greenland—a former Port Hueneme resident and local historian.

Not one to remain idle, Korenstein has embraced a second career that combines both historical research and community service. She has become a popular docent at a number of local must-see spots around Ventura County: the Channel Islands Maritime Museum, Heritage Square in downtown Oxnard, and the Dudley House in Ventura.Annual 2

Korenstein especially relishes performing in living history presentations and historical fashion shows. And if all that weren’t enough, Korenstein also curates the vintage clothing collection at the Murphy Auto Museum.

The audience, which also included the daughter and three grandchildren of Richard Bard, was thrilled with the way she wove stunning archival photographs with the fascinating narrative of the struggles and conflicts experienced by Richard Bard during his 14-year campaign to locate a port at Hueneme.Annual3For those of you who don’t know much about history—especially the history of the Port of Hueneme, the Port Hueneme Friends of the Library ( sponsored a very special speaker at their 31st Annual Meeting.

If you missed her performance, you will have another opportunity to follow this fascinating story by visiting Channel Islands Maritime Museum ( and the new permanent exhibit on the Port of Hueneme.

25th Birthday Gala

•May 11, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Burning Candles --- Image by © Roy Morsch/Corbis

Burning Candles — Image by © Roy Morsch/Corbis

We know you wouldn’t want to miss the 25th Birthday of the Prueter Library BUT, let’s face it, you are all very busy people.
We don’t want you to worry about whether or not flip-flops are appropriate party wear, whether or not the birthday cake is gluten-free, or whether or not the fire department will have to be called in to extinguish 25 blazing candles.
Most of all, we don’t want you to worry about whether or not you’ve found the perfect gift. We’ve made it uber- easy for you. All you have to do is write out a check for $25 (or more, if you insist). That’s one George Washington for every year Port Hueneme residents have enjoyed the Prueter Library. Just think about everything our free public library has done for you.
Donor Name_____________________________________ Check Amount______________(tax deductible)
Please keep this form for your records. Just write “Birthday” on memo line. Your name will be mentioned in the next newsletter unless you advise otherwise. Your gift is deductible to the full extent of the law. No goods or services were received for this donation. Federal Tax ID # 177-0084572. Mail check to: Friends, Box 532, Port Hueneme, CA 93044-0532


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 642 other followers