The FOTL Board continues to meet once a month (on the fourth Tuesday). Between meetings, we continue to work on book sales, membership, and the proposed MOU and enjoy  our monthly events.  Thanks to Carol Monte (coffees) and Connie Trandem (luncheons) for organizing these events. Our excursions are on hiatus until September.

The BOOK SALES require work all year round. Donations at the Library need to be sorted and prepared. We are stocking the shelves directly from donations (thanks to Terry McKaughan and Charlene Dodson). Storage/workspace at the Library is limited but we are coordinating with Tamera Norwood (our Library Manager) to triage large donations with pop-up sorting sessions. Basically, we are developing a contact list of members who are willing to be “on call” for those times when we need some volunteers to do a quick sort to organize donations. If you want to join these book sortings,  please e-mail me at (subject: Book Brigade) with your name, phone number and e-mail as well as usual availability (like Monday and Friday mornings etc.).

Special thanks to Wende Gehrt who put us in touch with a fellow Master Gardener who is setting up a community center and library in Stanfield. Charlene Dodson coordinated a donation of 28 boxes of recyclable books which were not suitable for our sales.  

What about the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding)? Many city groups and organizations (such as the Historical Society and FOTL among others) have been asked to document/update their interactions with the city.  Our meetings on this continue.

Finally, we are grateful to Peg Chapados who has agreed to fill the remainder of Leon Potter’s term as Treasurer. Peg has been working diligently for the last two weeks update our financial records and reviewing the proposed MOU.

I am thankful to board members who continue to support FOTL and me, those members who chair committees, and those who volunteer when the need arises.

Helen Smith



Board members are elected from nominated members at a designated fall General Meeting.  Officers are then selected from the members of the Board. Board members commit to a term of 3 years. 

Helen Smith, Chair - Term: 2020-2023

Moving from New York to Mesa (1986) and to Maricopa (2007), I retired from teaching mathematics with visions of travel and leisure time for hobbies.  In 2016, I joined FOTL for social and volunteer opportunities. My board interests include updating documentation, book sales and the scholarship committee.  As the 2022 Vice Chair, I am interested in helping members get the most from their FOTL experience.

Currently Book Events & Sales Chair.  Oversees Book Sort Committee.


Charlona Sawyer, Secretary - Term 2022-2025

I’m a Washington state native that fell in love with Arizona’s sun. I originally started my career in commercial art but moved over to Pacific Northwest Bell in the hopes of working in their art department.  Instead, I ended up selling residential and business products until years later the opportunity came up to manage the company’s website – I literally grabbed a “HTML for Dummies” book from the library, applied for the job, and the rest is history.  My true love (art) became a hobby, and for several years I volunteered my design skills to non-profit organizations within my community.  In 2000 I re-opened my own graphics/website design business and for 17 years I created logos, ads, and various marketing tools for my small business clients.  I firmly believe that without the ability to read and write English you cannot be successful, and I am committed to helping achieve FOTL’s mission of increasing literacy in our community. 

Currently Newsletter Editor and Website Chair.  Oversees advertising and publicity.

Charlene Dodson – Director Term: 2020-2023

I was born and lived in CO for 59 years. My husband and I moved to Maricopa
in April 2019. I became a member of the Friends in January 2020, and became
a board member shortly thereafter. Between us we have 4 children and 3
grandchildren. I ended my working career as a technical writer. I am an avid
reader, mostly of non-fiction. We are excited about all the proposed changes
to the city and are always looking for ways to become more involved in this
city we now call home.

Currently Membership Chair and Technical Editor for the newsletter.

Cynthia Hoover Paoli - Term 2022-2025

I’m a native New Yorker who moved to Maricopa  a year ago with my husband John and my five dogs.  I worked at the Nyack library in Nyack New York for seven years, first in the children’s room and then in the periodical section. I am an avid theater lover and performer. I hope to share my love of musical theater with the amazing people here in Maricopa.

Currently Scholarship Chair.

Darin Baker – Director Chairperson Term: 2020-2023
Peg Chapados – Treasurer - Term 2022-2025