Gloucester, MA—Cape Ann Savings Bank has made a charitable donation of $250,000 to Sawyer Free 2025 (visit sawyerfree2025.org), a philanthropic capital campaign to fund a comprehensive renovation, modernization and expansion of Gloucester’s public library building. CASB’s quarter-million-dollar gift underscores the bank’s goal of strengthening area communities, businesses and the families that live here through sponsorships and charitable giving.
“Sawyer Free Library’s mission of being a place of learning, creativity and innovation that nurtures and develops the community is much like the long-standing, community-based mission of Cape Ann Savings Bank,” said CASB’s President Marianne Smith. “The library is one of Gloucester’s treasured gems. As such, we are pleased to be able to contribute to its renovation and modernization. We’re also excited to follow the progress of the Sawyer Free 2025 plan to equip the building with technological advancements, new methods of learning and ground-breaking ways of sharing ideas and information. In fact, Cape Ann Savings Bank’s gift will directly fund the construction of an all-ages digital makerspace inside the new library.”
The Sawyer Free 2025 project will preserve the original exterior of Cape Ann’s oldest public library, which will house a fully redesigned interior, and will also double the size of the existing library’s footprint with a 15,000-square foot addition. Cape Ann Savings Bank secured one of the 14 donor-naming opportunities available in support of the campaign.
“This major contribution by Cape Ann Savings Bank is a shining example of its legacy as a supporter of community events, organizations and activities,” said Barry Weiner, a retired attorney and the campaign chair for Sawyer Free 2025. “The gift makes clear the bank’s commitment to help build strong cities and towns by giving back to the people who live here and supporting growth for generations to come. The donation is also a tremendous validation of our vision to fund this once-in-a-lifetime investment in a vital community resource. Once again, we believe our fellow citizens of Gloucester as well as residents across Cape Ann will respond to this show of support and rise to this occasion with donations both big and small.”
The design principles of Sawyer Free 2025 are grounded in the human experience and an ambition to put people first. The newly renovated and expanded Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library will stand as a model for what a 21st century civic hub can and should be in terms of architecture, accessibility, sustainability, the use of natural resources and light, layouts, lines of sight, air quality and public safety. The end product will exponentially amplify the library’s ability to deliver critical services and outcomes not only for Gloucester, but for communities across Cape Ann and the North Shore as a place of equity, inclusion, connection, creation, compassion, renewal and advancement.
The Sawyer Free 2025 project’s total cost is $28 million, a sum that includes built-in inflation costs through the completion of the project in 2025. The Sawyer Library Foundation, the fundraising arm of the campaign, has already inspired more than $14.3 million in pledged donations and grant awards. The completion of the new facility—featuring a sound studio, a film studio, a digital tech lab and 110-seat community meeting space—will result in a 25-percent increase in annual visitors, a 25-percent increase in the number of public programs offered each month by the library and a 50-percent increase in the number of programs hosted at the library by partner agencies.
Cape Ann Savings Bank has been a proud philanthropic force in the region since 1846. In the bank’s 175th Anniversary year of 2021, over $800,000 was donated to more than 100 local organizations. This included special Anniversary Gifts of $1,750 given to about 100 nonprofit organizations. The Anniversary Gifts were made above and beyond any other sponsorship or contribution requests received and fulfilled.
PHOTO: Flanking Cape Ann Savings Bank’s $250,000 donation check to the Sawyer Free 2025 campaign, lifelong library users Isabella and David Robertson proudly present the bank’s contribution to the renovation and expansion of Cape Ann’s oldest public library (sawyerfree2025.org). Behind them and joining in the celebration are (l to r) Library Director Jenny Benedict, Sawyer Free 2025 Campaign Manager Sarah Oaks, Library Board of Trustees President Mern Sibley, Sawyer Free 2025 Campaign Chair Barry Weiner, CASB President Marianne Smith, library patron Gina Goulart-Robertson, Vice Chair of the Sawyer Library Foundation Campaign Steering Committee Frederica Doeringer, CASB Senior Vice President John Brennan, Helena-Rose Maniaci (being held) and library patron Lenore Maniaci.
✓ How do I learn more or contact Sawyer Free 2025?
Call 978.225.0363 or 978.225.0915
Facebook: Sawyer Free 2025
Instagram: Sawyer Free 2025
YouTube: Sawyer Library Foundation 2025
✓ How Do I Give to Sawyer Free 2025?
- Visit sawyerfree2025.org
- Text to donate: Text “325182” to 1-855-575-7888 and select an amount
- Checks: SF2025, 2 Dale Ave., Gloucester, 01930 (Checks payable to: “Sawyer Library Foundation”)
- Volunteer! Reach out if you want to pitch in at the library or with the capital campaign, either in person or virtually. Help your neighbors, serve your community and share your expertise. No matter what kind of volunteer work you do for us, you are contributing in invaluable ways.