Foundation to raise money to restore fire-damaged library

Auburn's Eckhart Public Library has been closed since the July 2017 swept through the building after a man placed a lit, mortar-style firework in its book return chute.

Posted: Jul 2, 2018 10:23 PM

AUBURN, Ind. (WFFT and AP) - A newly-formed nonprofit is set to raise money to restore and rebuild a historic northeastern Indiana library heavily damaged by an arson fire.

Auburn's Eckhart Public Library has been closed since the July 2017 swept through the building after a man placed a lit, mortar-style firework in its book return chute.

The new Eckhart Library Foundation was established in March and efforts are now underway to secure a 501(c)(3) tax status that will enable all donations to be tax-deductible by donors.

The foundation hopes to raise $12 million in a captial campaign.

The money raised will go toward repairing the damage caused by the fire and supporting the library's future operation.

Monday, the foundation announced a $4 million matching gift from the James Foundation and $981,967 from library patron Dorotha Schrader's estate, who died in 2016.

With the combined pledges and insurance settlements, the campaing is about 75 percent toward its goal.

A 24-year-old Auburn man pleaded guilty to an arson charge in the fire was sentenced last year to 12 years in prison.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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