Gloucester, MA—BankGloucester has made a charitable donation of $250,000 to Sawyer Free 2025 (visitsawyerfree2025.org), a newly launched philanthropic capital campaign to fund a comprehensive renovation, modernization and expansion of Gloucester’s public library building. A powerful demonstration of the institution’s longtime corporate citizenship and social-mindedness, BankGloucester’s gift underscores the company’s goal of raising standards of living and advancing quality of life in the communities it serves.
“The Sawyer Free Library has been an important part of this community for many generations,” said BankGloucester President & CEO Patrick Thorpe. “We at BankGloucester are pleased to make this contribution and to be a part of this project. As a source of educational and reference materials as well as programming for both students and adults, Sawyer promotes enrichment and enjoyment for all ages. Additionally, it’s always been an ideal location for community gatherings and meetings. This renovation and expansion will enable our library to continue to be a significant resource for the people of Gloucester, both now and in the future.”
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 a15,000-square foot addition.
“BankGloucester’s generous contribution represents a high-octane injection of momentum into a campaign that’s poised to hit overdrive,” said Barry Weiner, a retired attorney and the campaign chair for Sawyer Free2025. “Not only does this gift show the kind of impact BankGloucester is having on all aspects of the communities it serves, including economic, social and environmental, but this is a tremendous validation of our vision to fund this once-in-a-lifetime investment in a vital community resource. 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 an exemplar of 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 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.
BankGloucester provides financial support on a year-round basis to area charities, community events and projects. Since 2008, the bank has engaged customers and the broader community in choosing the beneficiaries of its annual Banking for the Community program. BankGloucester also annually supports civic-minded students who exemplify community servant-leadership, awarding $12,500 in scholarships to five high school graduates every year.
Sawyer Library Foundation is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization. Our Determination Letter issued by the IRS can be viewed at sawyerfree2025.org. SFL2025’s EIN is: 84-2837206.
BankGloucester, with assets of $350 million, is a state-chartered mutual bank serving Gloucester and its neighboring communities since 1887. BankGloucester is headquartered at 160 Main Street in Gloucester and has branches at 15 Martin Street in Essex and 143 High Street in Ipswich. It is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and a member of the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF). At BankGloucester, all deposits are insured in full.