Cliff Williams / The Record Lake Martin Dadeville Area Chamber of Commerce president Peggy Bullard looks to Aleem Gillani, Wanda Ryals Horseshoe Bend Regional Library director Dr. Deja Ruddick as the Gillanis donated $12,500 to the library for renovations. The chamber donated $17,170 as part of a match challenge from the Gillanis.

It took a challenge but fundraising is almost complete for the Horseshoe Bend Regional and Dadeville Public libraries.

Lake Martin Dadeville Chamber president Peggy Bullard was happy to announce the chamber raised $17,170 in a challenge from Aleem and Cindy Gillani. And the funding came just in time for Horseshoe Bend Regional Library director Dr. Deja Ruddick. The challenge started when the couple decided to give back to the community.

“We decided to give to the library,” Aleem Gillani said. “We met with Deja and asked her how much money they needed. She said $25,000.”

Instead of writing a check for the entire amount, the Gillanis issued a matching challenge.

“We said if you raise $12,500 we would give $12,500, we would match it,” Gilliani said.

But Gillani was worried if fundraising would max out the couple’s match.

“It was coming in a little bit slow so I sat down with Michael Carter of the chamber and mentioned what was going on,” Gillani said. “[Carter] said don’t worry about it, ‘The chamber has this.’”

With the work of Bullard, Carter, Jim Cahoon and more, the chamber raised $17,170 to make sure the Gillani’s match would be maximized.

“Boy did they come through with this,” Gillani said.

Ruddick said work should start soon with replacing the windows, roof and HVAC systems.

“A lot of the windows don’t close,” Gillani said. “They let in lots of stuff. We are starting now on some things and getting bids on the roof.”

The City of Dadeville, the Tallapoosa County Commission and state Rep. Ed Oliver also helped raise funds by allocated monies from the city, county and state. The five-year fundraising effort has raised almost $100,000.

Ruddick said another $20,000 to $30,000 is still needed and the libraries have a gofundme set up to help with fundraising.

“With all the issues with construction supplies and materials, we assume it will take us quite a while but we are getting started,” Ruddick said.

The gift from the Gillanis and the chamber shows the support of the library by the community according to Ruddick.

“We are so humble and grateful,” Ruddick said. “For this to happen so quickly from so many different sources is a blessing.”

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.

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