Many of the weekend patrons puttering around the Shaler North Hills Library literally had golf clubs in their hands
The second “Caddy Stacks” fundraiser had visitors creating a miniature golf course and playing it, too, Saturday and Sunday inside the library on Mount Royal Boulevard in Shaler.
Klayton Wilkinson, 7, of Hampton brought his parents, Windy Wilkinson and Clifton Bassong, and friend Siarra Reese, 9, of Shaler to see the two miniature golf challenges he and his family built for holes 17 and 18.
Returning from last year, hole 17 was called Klayton’s Dragon. The par four obstacles featured a dragon that had to be beaten to reach the goal. On 18, a wooden ramp led to a Mystery Machine, painted by Klayton and his mom, featuring Scooby Doo and the gang. Once through a bright green van, golfers had to spin the villain at the end of the hole to complete the challenge.
“The Wilkinson’s live at this library,” said Janet Miller of Etna, president of the Friends of Shaler North Hills Library, the group sponsoring the fundraiser.
“We come here for the classes, to meet friends and pick out books,” said Ms. Wilkinson. Klayton said he also liked meeting friends at the library but added he often adds some good DVDs to the checkout pile.
“Klayton’s dragon was a hit last year,” Mrs. Miller said.
“I love to make things,” Klayton said.
His mom agreed: “It’s such a great family project,” she said. “It teaches him how to give back to the community and brings us close. He’s already planning next year’s hole.”
“At least I have a year to plan it,” said Mr. Bassong as the family headed to the first hole.
Mrs. Miller and Friends of the Library member Patty Baum of Reserve were registering the golfers, taking their donations and providing them with a score sheet and clubs donated by Wildwood Highlands in Hampton. Golfers started in the children’s section a the hole identified with an Olympics theme, Sochi 2014.
Handing out the clubs and selling snacks were Zack Sheets, 12, of Shaler and his mom, Jean. Zack, a seventh-grader at Shaler Area Middle School, missed “Caddy Stacks” last year because he was in Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, having his appendix removed. This year, he and his family created hole number 12, “Go for the Black and Gold.”
“I’m the sports fan of the family,” Zack said.
Dolores Colarosa, the children’s librarian for three years, was enjoying the golfers while attending to young readers. “So many families responded to our invitation to build holes,” she said. “I really enjoy watching the interaction among the kids and their parents and grandparents.”
As the players golfed their way through the library, they could take time to visit and read a story with one of several Tail Waggin’ Tutors, trained therapy dogs from the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society.
Rosalyn, a 7-year-old greyhound, greeted Alaina Weaver, 4, of Ross and her mother Lisa Weaver. “We’ve done lots of the library programs,” Ms. Weaver said as Alaina patted Rosalyn, under the watchful eye of Nancy Holland of Ross, a volunteer at the library for more than 20 years.
The Tail Waggin’ Tutors sponsored holes 9 featuring Snoopy and Woodstock and 8 titled “Pugalapooza,” also featuring dogs. The challenge wound its way through stuffed pug dogs sitting near stacks of dog books such as "Pug in a Truck" by Nancy Coffelt.
James Daly, 17, a Hampton High School junior, was clocking some of his school’s required community service time by showing guests to the miniature golf features tucked between the library stacks. “This is the best place I’ve volunteered so far,” he said. “It’s kind of cool.”
Judging from comments and laughter from the many families Saturday, most everyone agreed.
The event raised $1,062. Last year’s event raised about $900 for the library, said Sharon McRae, director of the library. “The response from the people who played inspired us to do it again,” she said. “It’s really, really fun.”
Rita Michel, freelance writer: email@example.com