The Friends of the Bridge City Public Library is hosting a Literary Feast and Author’s Forum in order to fund an expansion project for the library. It will be 6 p.m. May 10 at the Bridge City Community Center.

Texas authors Frances Collins and Chester Moore will be two of the guest speakers. Guests will dine on a delicious pasta diner.

The authors will speak followed by a question and answer period. Copies of their books will be available for sale at the author’s table.

Everyone is encouraged to purchase their tickets as soon as possible because seating is limited. Tickets are $20 each or a guaranteed reserved table for 8 is available for $200.Tickets are sold by FOL members or at the library located at 101 Parkside.

In addition, there will be a silent auction with items from local  area businesses such as C. Delle Bates, Piney Wood Wines, Home Depot, Heaven Sent Florist, Wii Fit, Leslie Huckabay canvas art,a Granger’s Cheverolet item, J.Scott  Aflorist item, Handmade Quilt,  and much more. Anyone who would like to donate an item for the silent auction please contact the Library 409-735-4242 or Rhonda Vercher 409-330-0387 for pickup.

Any monetary donations or ticket purchases can be made at the library Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m, Thursday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Frances Collins is a local author who tells a powerful, inspirational true story in her self-published book, “Seashell Prisoners.” Collins tells the story of a child who was kidnapped three times beginning in March, 1994. The story begins in Orange and tells of her travels through Central America to an island off of coast of Honduras called Roatan in an attempt to protect her grandaughter.

Despite the weekly attempts of the F.B.I., C.I.A., U.S. Embassy, and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office to take them off the island,  Collins goes forward with building a small hotel and within months is overflowing with missionaries. She quickly adapts with the help of her granddaughter,  Nocona, and begins work as a liaison person for hundreds of missionaries and joins the missionaries on frequent mission trips.

In spite of the protections by the local Honduran  citizens and government, in  2002, the F.B.I. surrounded the family’s home with machine guns in an effort  to return the child to her abusive father.  Collins is returned to the US where she must face charges in 2002.

Collins was born and raised in Orange. She was married for twenty one years and rasied three children in Mauriceville.

Moore will be there to tell tales of his adventures. Moore is executive editor of Texas Fish & Game magazine. During his career he has won more than 100 awards for writing, photography and conservation. In addition, he was named a “Hero of Conservation” by Field & Stream magazine.

Moore has 12 published books including his latest “Encounters with the Lion: Finding God in Nature.” He has appeared on The 700 Club, History Channel,  Animal Planet, The Outdoors Channel and NBC Sports.

His faith is also an important part of his life and he is a children’s minister at Community Church in Orange. Moore is the founder of the WebTV series “God’s Outdoors with Chester Moore”

Proceeds from the dinner will add to the fund for the current library expansion project. The Friends of the Bridge City Public Library overall plans are to add 3,250 sq. ft. to the existing 2,500 sq. ft. building housing the Bridge City Public Library and renovate some areas of the current building. This will add 65 feet to the length of the building and 50 feet to the width. The plan adds a much needed children’s room, a young adult section, a meeting room and an office for the staff.

Local citizens are encouraged to join the Friends of the Bridge City Public Library. There is a $5 membership fee.

The Friend’s meetings are held at the Library the last Thursday of every month at 5 pm. The Friends of the Library also sponsor the June & July Summer Reading Program for children on Wednesdays during the summer.

The Friends of the Bridge City Public Library began as a support committee in March 1988 when twenty concerned citizens addressed the needs of the community to establish the city’s first public library. The response from the public was tremendous. By August 1988 a non-binding referendum passed showing support for a new public library and the city appointed an advisory board for the library.

The Friends worked for two years prior to the completion of the 2,500 square foot structure in 1991 by receiving donations of thousands of books which they sorted and processed in preparation to putting them on the library shelves. The Friends supervised volunteers as they set up a make-shift library in a former dance studio to get ready to open. The city funded the building of the slab and shell exterior of the metal building.

The Friends then assisted with many man hours of labor to build the interior of the new metal structure and to raise funds to purchase shelving, equipment, new books and fixtures. After more than 1,000 volunteer hours to physically build the library and using many donations of materials and supplies, the new library was completed and the doors opened to the public on March 18, 1991.

The Friends have continued to support the library since its opening. Ongoing projects have included organizing and maintaining the summer reading club for area children and providing guest speakers for the summer reading programs. In addition, they have assisted in the Lapsit Children’s preschool program throughout the year and worked on providing an ongoing book sale in the library’s lobby. To help keep the library going they encourage memorial and honor donations while they continue to seek funding for the library.

The library currently serves 3,344 registered patrons. It is an accredited member of the Texas State Library, and participates in the state’s Texshare program which allows patrons to borrow from other Texas libraries, In addition, the library is an active member of the Southeast Texas Libraries Discussion Group.