Meet the Irondequoit Public Library Foundation

 We're looking to fill an upcoming board vacancy with someone who has public relations or fund-raising skills.

We're looking to fill an upcoming board vacancy with someone who has public relations or fund-raising skills.

Most residents know that our Library is governed by the Irondequoit Library Board, but there is another board with the library’s capital needs at heart that not many people know about: the Irondequoit Public Library Foundation (ILF).

About 10 years ago, a group of generous library supporters anticipated the day the two branches would need to be replaced at a cost exceeding what taxpayers could afford. They determined that a private foundation with tax-exempt status under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, would be the best entity to solicit and administer funds contributed by individuals, businesses, and grant-makers. In 2005, the ILF was incorporated and its founders contributed its seed money.

Today the Foundation’s by-laws call for a Board of at least 7 trustees, two of whom must also be members of the Irondequoit Library Board. President David Heffer, a chiropractor with an office on East Ridge Rd., is an Irondequoit native. Elaine Z. Cole, Vice President has lived on Rock Beach Rd. for over 35 years. She recently retired from state service and has not for profit board experience. Secretary, Barbara James, is a partner in the Harris, Beach law firm, concentrating on trusts and estates, and has lived in town for many years. Robert Smith, Treasurer, graduated from West Irondequoit High School and SUNY Buffalo and is an accountant at Constellation Brands. Trustees Susan Bonkowski and Albert “Bud” Birchard are neighbors on Harvington Rd. Sue is a retired project manager from Thomson Reuters with excellent editing and management experience. Bud gained significant fund-raising experience through his participation in United Way’s loaned executive program while he worked at Kodak. Wolodymyr Pylyshenko (“Mirko”), is a world-traveler since he retired from teaching art, and is an active community volunteer.

Heffer and Cole are current trustees on the Irondequoit Library Board, while Pylyshenko is a past member and has been granted Honorary Trustee status.

Now that the Town Board has selected the construction manager Passero Associates, and Barkstrom & LaCroix architect for the new library, the Foundation is planning the capital campaign. Furnishings, computers, and other equipment will cost more than the bond proceeds, so the Foundation will begin appealing for contributions. The ILF trustees are working closely with the IPL Board, town officials, major donors, and experienced volunteers to create an exciting campaign in which the whole town will want to join. They are drafting the Case Statement to explain to donors how important their contributions are. They are also planning how best to recognize the most generous donors through permanent memorials. Ideas being considered are naming rights for rooms such as the children's area, the atrium, staff lounge or community meeting space, just for examples. Plaques on furnishings or on a giving tree or book spines, are also under consideration.

With fundraising soon to be in full swing, the Foundation is seeking to fill an upcoming board vacancy with someone with public relations or fund-raising skill. Town residence is not required and appointment is not subject to Town Board approval. Interested people should mail a resume to the Foundation, at 45 Cooper Road, Rochester 14617, or email it to

To follow the campaign, or to make a gift, information will soon be available on our website.