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Fountain Hills Community Foundation donated $40,000 in grant money to 18 local recipients this year.

This is the third in a series where The Times will feature recipients and how they are using the funds.

This is the first year Fountain Hills Friends of the Library has received grant money from FHCF. The group was awarded $1,750 to be used for improvements in the teen area of the library.

Barbara Esposito, who coordinated the grant for the Friends of the Library said funds would be used for relaxed seating in the teen section.

“They can be comfortable working on their laptops, reading, playing games or just talking with their friends,” Esposito said. “It will be a nice place for them to hang out, and especially to have a sense of their own place.”

The teen area is in on corner of the library, set apart from the main area.

In its grant application, Friends of the Library, noted that the library itself has “an immediate feel of community.”

The group had asked for additional money to use for improvements in the children’s section, but with the lesser amount made the decision to use funds for the teen area.

“We really want the teenagers to want to come to the library,” Esposito said. “We think the relaxed seating will be appealing to them, and they will have their own space. It’s a place where people can call the place their own.”

The Fountain Hills Friends of the Library, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is a thriving, all-volunteer group working together to support the library.

Programs include winter and summer reading programs, author events, performances, book clubs and teen events. Esposito said a number of events were put on hold due to the pandemic, but she said the organization hopes to resume activities in the coming months.

The Friends has more than 250 members, volunteers and a managing board of directors.

The group also manages a used bookstore in the lobby outside the library. Funding from the bookstore helps fund events for the library.

FHFL also offers an annual college scholarship for a Fountain Hills High School student. The scholarship is given in partnership with the Golden Eagle Foundation.

Fountain Hills Community Foundation is a 501(c)3 foundation, investing in nonprofits whose work improves the lives of youth, seniors, families and community.

The foundation was established in 1995 as the Sunridge Foundation. It has contributed more than $1.3 million to community nonprofits.