The Worcester Public Library will host a benefit mini-golf course on Friday, Saturday

WORCESTER — When people plan their social calendar for the weekend, the Worcester Public Library, as a rule, doesn’t usually discriminate. This weekend, the library will embrace the adage “rules are meant to be broken”, with its Tee Off at WPL! Mini golf at the library fundraiser. On Friday and Saturday, the library will host an 18-hole indoor mini-golf course with food, drink and music.

“It’s so much more than library mini-golf, it’s a way to bring together members of the community who have never really interacted, by throwing golf clubs and surrounding them with books,” said said library director Jason Homer. With the help of a Connecticut-based company, Homer has hosted this event four times at previous libraries and is excited to share this event with Worcester residents. Mini-golf attendees will have the chance to play and explore, allowing WPL to show off its new first floor.

A local business or Worcester resident will be a sponsor for each hole on the course, which will take players on a winding route between the shelves, bringing them to new spaces including the Innovation Lab and the Teen Center. Berkshire Bank, the presenting sponsor, has chosen to be the 18th hole, which will end the course at the catering facility near the Franklin Street entrance to the library. Other sponsors include Worcester State University, Baystate Savings Bank, Quinsigamond Community College, Carr Financial Group and Shi Shi’s Lounge, which will bring their own barriers and use WPL supplements.

Christine Murray, Executive Director of the WPL Foundation, said: ‘Friday will be very hectic at the library – at 1pm it won’t be quiet. The mini-golf company had to receive a floor plan to design the course and “dropped off a ton of equipment including a putting green”. The library will keep regular hours and remain open until 5.30pm before reopening for golf at 6.30pm

The food will be provided by the newest Worcester Regional Food Hub promotion and will feature a variety of foods. Shon Rainford, executive director of the Food Hub, said 24 entrepreneurs had just completed the Launching Diverse Food Entrepreneurs program over the eight-week course where they learned the essentials of starting a food establishment, such as food safety, l commercial kitchen equipment, customer service, basic bookkeeping, menu scaling and marketing.

“It’s very exciting and a great opportunity to practice making food on a large scale and for them to show off their skills,” Rainford said. Homer predicted that chefs will have their own restaurants within the next few years and “it’s the future taste of Worcester”.

Attendees will receive drink tickets for Redemption Rock Brewery and Decanted Wine Trucks. Aimed at a young adult demographic, a two-person band consisting of Matt and Martie, Acoustic Mayhem, will perform live music. Murray, who has known Matt for a long time, said “Matt also played for the ribbon cutting.”

Fundraising will take place on Friday and Saturday. Friday is for over 21s from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at $50 per person. Tickets are available upon registration on the library website. Saturday golf will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at $5 per golfer, with kids up to 5 free and tickets available at the door. On Saturday there will also be indoor yard games for children and adults, with a Giant Jenga and Giant Connect Four set up.

Murray said, “$5 is already half the price of local mini-golf, which is already a bargain,” but there are sponsorships for families who can’t afford it. “Saturday isn’t just for kids – it’s for adults and family fun.”

Typically, the library has a big fundraising event every year in the fall, but this year, Murray said, “I can already tell that different people are engaging with us through sponsorships and we’re really excited.”

Homer emphasized that building community is the primary focus with eight organizations contributing to this event. And you can’t beat the fun aspect of “being able to golf, chat, and hang out — somewhere you’ve never had a beer before,” he said.

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