Happy Spring! What a difference a year makes

In 2020 the process for raising funds to build a new modern Larkspur Library at Rose Lane came to nearly a complete stop. The City pivoted to deal with quickly changing national, state and county health directives by closing public facilities and addressed a significant expected revenue shortfall by reducing the budgets.

The Commons Foundation responded by:

  • Delaying the “quiet” phase, during which we seek leadership and major gift contributions in our Capital Campaign fundraising;
  • Raising funds (nearly $60,000) for the operations of the Larkspur Library to help virtualize services and maintain curbside pick-up and drop off;
  • Partnering with The Friends of the Library to launch a Season of Giving appeal for the Capital Campaign and Annual Fund ($10,000 raised jointly);
  • Negotiating and signing a Letter of Intent with the City for private fundraising to raise $5M to fund and build a 5,000 sq. ft. library at Rose Lane; and
  • Partnering with the City to create new conceptual drawings that reflect the City’s input on where to place a new 5,000 sq. ft library and parking.

In 2021, The Commons Foundation has:

  • Restarted the Capital Campaign’s lead and major gift fundraising phase with a goal of raising $5M by November 2022;
  • Retained Serena D’Arcy-Fisher as our fundraising counsel;
  • Expanded our board to include Cindy Winship (see bio below);
  • Initiated a detailed cost analysis of similar projects in the Bay area (See Matt Hartzell bio below); and
  • Reached out to an expanding network of people who love Larkspur, love libraries and community spaces, and want to help make the new library a reality.

Our goal in the coming months is to expand the number of public and private presentations of the conceptual drawings and our fundraising appeals.

In the leadership and major gift phase we are seeking pledges and cash donations in the $50,000-$1M range that can be paid over two years. We are also introducing people to our planned giving capability and asking them to remember The Commons Foundation and the Larkspur Library in their estate planning. We are very pleased to announce that we have raised over $1.1M in cash and pledges.


Our Leadership Donors include:

  • Anonymous
  • Lori Lerner & Terry Berkemeier
  • Joanne Bethalmy Estate
  • Kristi & Jon Ellenzweig
  • Marisa & Joe Jennings
  • Christina (Tina) Rosetti-McArthur
  • Dyan & Peter Pike
  • Cynthia & Christopher Winship
  • Joanne Bethlahmy Estate


If you are interested in learning more about The Commons vision and how you can make a Leadership gift, please contact: Joe Jennings at josephwjennings@sbcglobal.net


Related News:

Cindy Winship is our newest Board Member: she and her husband Chris live in Larkspur with their three children ages 15, 13, and 11. She has been an active volunteer in her children’s schools as well as the greater community. A founding member of the local soccer club, Corte Madera FC, Cindy has coached youth soccer for years. Cindy attended Dartmouth College and has a Masters in Education from the University of California Berkeley. She currently teaches adult education classes through Tamalpais Adult School and is the assistant women’s soccer coach at College of Marin.

Matt Hartzell, an amazing volunteer, has been helping us with our analysis of project costs and planning issues. Matt studied history, geography, and urban planning at Harvard, Penn State, and UCLA. Matt lived and worked in Western China for several years before recently returning to Larkspur, the town where he grew up. Based on Matt’s work, we will be providing information in the coming weeks on what similar projects in the Bay area have cost in the last three years. Thank you, Matt, for your help and expertise.

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