Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Remembering 2014

Who would have thought that a newly reconstituted organization, inactive for many years, within just two short years achieve so much. 2014 was an outstanding period of growth and accomplishments for the St. Tammany Library Foundation. Thanks to your support we were able to undertake the following :

~ A “Sipping through the Stacks” gathering held for our members in the Walker Percy Room in Madisonville prior to a talk by Julie Rivette, granddaughter of Dashiell Hammett.

~ An exquisite and fun celebration under the spreading limbs of the Seven Sisters Oak, one of the oldest live oak tree in America – with music by the Bob Ellis trio, delicious food, congenial company, an auction filled with books by St. Tammany writers, art, decorative objects, tea from the English Tea Room of Covington served in exquisite bone china cups, wine from Acquisapace and other merchants, and all featured on pastel tablecloths adorned with bouquets of spring blooms. All proceeds were dedicated to the funding of a statue of our St. Tammany muse, Walker Percy. Three of our members – Nancy Anderson, Jamie Eason, and Patricia Bonneau created the magnificent flower arrangements. Thanks go to the Chairs of the Event: Ruthann Hilker, Mary Beth McGinnis, and Suzanne Myers.

~ A partnership began with the Lakeview Regional Medical Center culminating in the first ever Northshore Men’s Wellness Seminar. Seven physicians were on hand to give talks and to meet privately with any attendees.

~ Our activities of 2014 culminated with the completion of our first campaign for the engraved stones of the Serenity Circle on the side of the new St. Tammany Parish Library in Madisonville. Within six weeks they should be installed. We are planning a celebration after their installation. All donors will be honored at a special reception the Friday night before a Saturday celebration for our entire community. At that time we will also begin our second order campaign.

~ New members were welcomed to our Board of Director: Suzanne Myers, Sue Zaunbrecher, Mayor Peter Gitz, and Nancy Thompson.

~ And last, but not least, our President was honored to have been chosen by the American Library Association as the most outstanding leader of library foundations in the United States. This would not have been possible without the help of the entire membership, Board, and support of community leaders.

Our plans for 2015 include grant writing, expansion of our library space in Slidell, support of special library programs, completion of our campaign to fund the Percy Walker statue, the funding of a mural to set off the children’s center in our new library, and the continuation of our educational mission featuring workshops, seminars, lectures, and creative classes.

JOIN US! St. Tammany Parish needs you.


The St. Tammany Library Foundation is delighted to announce that the first order for the engraved bricks of the Walker Percy has been placed!

On Monday the Director of the St. Tammany Parish Library, Donald Westmoreland, and the President of the Foundation traveled to St. Rose, Louisiana to place our order for 86 engraved bricks and for six large stone markers featuring the names of Percy’s six award winning novels. We are so proud that we could begin 2015 with the first major achievement of our nascent foundation - a gift to the parish Library and a gift to the entire St. Tammany community.

We are so thankful to our donors! They hail from several states and include members of the Percy family, religious centers, literary clubs, a variety of organizations, university faculties, area hospitals, avid readers, grateful writers, artists, students, friends, and residents from every part of St. Tammany Parish.

We are planning a celebration after the engraved bricks are placed in the patio. Within six weeks we expect the first order will be installed. All donors will be honored at a special reception the Friday night prior to a Saturday celebration open to Foundation members and the larger community.

The second campaign for an additional order will begin shortly afterwards. We feel assured that once the community sees the progress on the Serenity Circle and the celebration that follows, the second order will prompt many to play a part in the project.

We would love to have two of the benches installed at the same time. We need one more sponsor so that the two major benches will balance each other.

The benches will add to the Serenity Circles’s artistic and arresting beauty. And one of the benches will feature the statue of Walker we are working to completely fund. If you are interested in sponsoring the last bench within the circle, contact us right away! If you are moved to make a contribution – no matter how small – to help us finalize the statue by award-winning sculptor – Bill Binnings – also let us know.

The names of our sponsors and whom they memorialize are now a part of the history of St. Tammany Parish. Walker Percy was not only considered one of the greatest American authors of the latter half of the last century – but also a mentor to others, a gifted teacher, a community supporter, and a man of faith and vision.