Of cows and taxes

Cow Scrabble has taken over our library. What is Cow Scrabble, you ask?

CowNosesOnce a year, for the past five years, our public library has hosted a Scrabble tournament as a fundraiser, and it’s a’moo’sing in every way. Cow-themed, pun-inspired, and charmingly competitive, Cow Scrabble offers participants ‘udderly’ splendid prizes including a coveted champion’s trophy — a life-sized heifer named Josie made of aluminum, whose hide is adorned with skillfully painted Scrabble tiles. (No live cows were harmed in the making of this fundraiser.)

So what do cows and taxes have in common? Since 2007, our public library system has not received any regular funding from taxes. It is funded by donations and grants, and operated by volunteers working about 500 hours a week for free. The fun-fundraiser Cow Scrabble was the brainchild of our stalwart community supporter, founding board member, and hero Brady Adams, to help keep our library open. Brady had a unique way of lifting all of us above the fray of politics with his creative genius. He taught us to delight in life’s joy no matter the circumstance, including the fine art of Scrabble and cows. He will be forever remembered and loved by everyone at Josephine Community Libraries.

With a five-year history, we’ve celebrated many wins and losses along the ‘trail.’ We’ve lost several beloved Cow Scrabble volunteers, including Brady Adams and Ame Yeargan. We’ve defended cows, eaten cow pie, hung out with cavemen, and rescued Josie from a cow tipping (pictured below). I personally want to thank all those folks who’ve had a ‘steak’ in Cow Scrabble over the years, too many to name here. We’ve had a blast. You are the cowbell in my library heart.

So, stay tuned to our Facebook page to find out who won Cow Scrabble for 2015. And, rest assured, we will continue to ‘steer’ our library toward success and milk it for all it’s worth. That’s no bull.

BradyAdams AmeYeargan
Special thank you to Brady Adams and Evergreen Bank for their continued support of our community libraries. Pictured from left to right Kate Lasky, Tammie Kirk, Sue Fahey, Pat Fahey, Brady Adams, and Amy Wilson in 2011. Volunteer and Cow Scrabble winner Ame Yeargan kisses Josie in 2010.
DefendTheCow CowPie
Pat Fahey, our leader of the herd, head cow wrangler, and library champion, pictured with his better half, Sue Fahey in 2013. Past Board President DonnaJean Wendle and her husband Dean purchase a cow pie from the Powderhorn Café, a benefit for our libraries in 2013.
Caveman CowTipped
Grants Pass cavemen milking it for all it’s worth in 2014. Josie, looking her best after a raucous night of tipping in 2015.

KateLaskyHeadshotKate Lasky has been the executive director of Josephine Community Libraries, Inc. since 2010. She holds a master’s in education and serves on the Oregon Library Association Legislative and Development Committee. In April this year, she was honored by theOregon Library Association with the Ole award which annually recognizes an Oregon public library employee who has displayed exceptional effort and excellence.