The perfect combo — chocolate and books

MINNEOTA?- After dinner, chocolate was the order of the day at the Friends of the Minneota Library’s Chocolate Affair on Saturday.

“This is to raise money for the Minneota Public Library,” said organizer Nancy Dilley. “More specifically, for renovation of the Big Store, the old O.G. Anderson Building. The downstairs and basement will be the library we’re hoping within the next few years as money becomes available.”

The building was built in 1901 and used to be the biggest store on the old railroad line from Mankato, according to Dilley. So far work on the building has proceeded with the help of four matching grants from the Minneota Historical Society. The fourth grant was to renovate the tin ceiling and adapt it to new floor plans, wiring and insulation.

“I think this is our seventh year,” said Gary Buysse, president of Friends of the Minneota Library. “We’re going to be able to offer more programs, more children’s programs and meeting rooms.”

And of course, there’ll be room for more books.

Most of the money raised at the event is from the silent auction and on average comes to $5,000 with about another $1,000 from ticket sales.

“It started really small when we had our first one and just kept getting bigger and bigger,” said auction organizer Katie VanHecke. “People started donating nicer stuff, and it keeps getting nicer every year.”