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Pala commits $200k to new Fallbrook Library - Tribal chairman presents first $50,000 installment of four-year commitment

Gratitude ran deep when Chairman Robert H. Smith presented the first installment of a $200,000 commitment of funds on behalf of the Pala Band of Mission Indians to Marlo Miller, president of the Friends of the Fallbrook Library, on August 13 at the Pala Tribe’s administration center. The funds are being released in increments of $50,000 over four years.

The funds are Pala’s contribution to the $11.5 million, 20,000 square foot state-of-the-art library currently under construction in Fallbrook at the corner of South Mission Road and Alvarado Street.

“We thank you and appreciate how involved the Pala Band is in this project,” said Miller, addressing Tribal Chairman Smith, Secretary Kilma Lattin, and Treasurer Theresa Nieto. “This is a wonderful legacy you are leaving your children, grandchildren, and ours.”

Miller explained to those present that Pala’s contribution would not only be used towards the children’s area, but also to help establish an endowment fund, “that will allow us to have wonderful, ongoing programs, all kinds of music performances, and lectures.”

Pala will be recognized in the new library by having a room in the children and family area named in the Tribe’s honor as well as special recognition on a history panel being developed by local artist Dixon Fish.

“There will be an image of Chairman Smith on that panel, and we will also have an artistic border around the Poet’s Patio that pays tribute to the Pala Band of Mission Indians,” explained Jerri Patchett, building project chairperson for the Friends. “We will be working with an artist of Pala’s choosing on that artwork.”

The design of the new library includes recognizing the rich agricultural and historical heritage in its architecture, design and art projects.

“We are especially grateful for the Friends of Fallbrook Library’s dedication to linking the history of the region with the project,” said Smith.

In an interview following the presentation of funds, Chairman Smith explained that the Tribe constructed a 4,000 square-foot library in 1990 as an onsite resource for families.

“We know what it’s like to struggle to get something built,” he said.

The County of San Diego is providing $9 million toward the library project, and the Friends of the Fallbrook Library have committed $2.5 million and hope to raise an additional $500,000.

Pala’s support towards the Friends’ commitment was the second largest accepted.

“It’s a very generous and supportive gift,” said Miller.

The largest contribution to the fundraising group was a $600,000 gift from the trust of Jessie Yount.

“The Yount funds were received over a two year period, in 2006-2007,” said Miller.

The new Fallbrook Library is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year. “It will be finished on time, perhaps even early,” said Patchett, with a smile.

The contribution to the new Fallbrook Library is not the only substantial gift the Pala Tribe has made this year. They have also continued their commitment to the Bonsall Union School District by recently presenting a donation of $140,000 for the 2010-2011 school year.

“We are glad to be able to help,” said Smith. “This is the third year we have contributed funds to the school district. The first year we gave $120,000 and in each of the last two years we have given $140,000.”

Smith said the bulk of the school donation will go toward providing bus transportation for Pala children to Bonsall Elementary school.

“We are trying to cover the transportation costs for 60 children,” he said. “As we all know, the schools are struggling with budget problems.”

The Pala Reservation is comprised of 12,000 acres with 450 homes and has a population of 1,200.

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