Friends of Library Makes Enemies in Ticket Giveaway Fumble

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January 29, 2011; Source: Star Advertiser | If you happened to catch yesterday's Pro Bowl football game on television, one thing you didn't see were several hundred people who would have been there had the Friends of the Library not fumbled a ticket giveaway in Honolulu on Friday.

Told that the nonprofit group would be handing out 500 free tickets to Sunday's game at Aloha Stadium, hundreds lined up for hours outside the State Library. However, it turned out there only 220 tickets available because the library group decided to keep 280 for its volunteers.

One person who wouldn't give his name because he had taken off work to line up for a ticket with his two sons said the way the giveaway was handled "left a bad taste" in many people's mouths. He said he was especially disappointed that neither he nor his sons would be going to the game. "Times are tough right now," he said. "A lot of people can't afford it."

Another person hoping for a ticket, Karen Lovell, said things got ugly outside the library with "people yelling by the door." Friends of the Library Executive Director Byrde Cestare admitted her group had dropped the ball, and apologized for not having "a better system."—Bruce Trachtenberg