By Brian Park

The San Juan Capistrano Friends of the Library received a helping hand from a group of local green thumbs last month.

The Friends were presented with a $1,500 check from the San Juan Capistrano Garden Club on Sunday, December 1. The money will go toward improving the historic library, which is currently in the process of building a new bookstore.

The Garden Club, which has long participated in philanthropic efforts, set aside their annual holiday gift exchange in favor of donating to a community garden project. The club ultimately decided to support the Friends, for which many club members also are involved. The board gave members a $400 matching-fund challenge, but donations far exceeded expectations, totaling $1,100.

“We are hoping some of the money could be used for areas of color, which could be maintained by club members,” said board member Valerie Drey.

To kick off the 2014, the Garden Club is hosting a “Trash to Treasure” auction on Monday, January 20, at 10 a.m., at San Juan Hills Golf Club. Members will be bringing in useable garden items that will be auctioned off.

For information about the Garden Club, including membership, visit their website at To learn more about the Friends of the Library, visit

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