EVART — The economy is taking its toll on many businesses in the area, and throughout the nation. According to Lilas VanScoyoc of the Evart Library, “we are no exception.”

For that reason, a silent auction is gathering up steam as the ladies of the library and others in the area work together to create gift baskets that will be displayed, then auctioned off to the highest bidder.

“We’re looking at it as a fundraiser,” she explained, “and gave the library board for working hard to find ways to keep the library functioning and needs taken care of as time goes on.”

The board recently gave its blessing on the silent auction idea, and already perhaps a dozen baskets have been assembled waiting for that April 4 starting date.

The silent auction will end at noon on April 20, “and it should be fun,” Lilas said. “We have something for everyone, and we’ll keep adding more baskets beforehand if possible.”

She said state aid for the library has been cut, “and we’re having budget constraints. Our penal fines are down a lot too. We figure this little idea will be fun, and we’re going to have something for every age group and make sure there are baskets made up for men, women and kids.”

Some of the items already included in baskets are basketballs, footballs, flowers, colognes, lotions, teas and coffees, candles, candy, knitting books and yarn.

“We also have a basket with all the makings for a spaghetti dinner, and another one that has everything for going to the movies including the tickets and extra popcorn,” she said.

People can stop by the library beginning April 4, “put a bid on something, and if someone ups it, we’re hoping the other person will come right back in and up it again. This can help out our book budget and our audio budget. We would sure appreciate the help, and we know this community is one that helps and so do our neighbors.”

She said everything has been donated for the baskets, “a lot by merchants here in town, and the library board and staff.” They will be glad to accept more items and put together even more baskets. If you have items to donate, contact Lilas VanScoyoc at the Evart Library as soon as possible.

“We’re trying to cut back but we’re hoping we can come up with ways to help too.”

The library hours have been shortened, with the library closed on Saturdays now and open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, and from 9 a.m. to 4:30 the remainder of the week.”