Surprise Gift Highlights Garden Dedication


The recent dedication of the Reading Garden at the Schoolcraft Community Library contained a special surprise for Library Director, Bobbi Truesdell.

The idea for the surprise began when a memorial redbud tree planted at the library in memory of Robin Westfall who was killed in a 1994 car accident, had to be removed due to disease, damage and location.

Although a new redbud tree was planted in its place, Truesdell had a lot of difficulty parting with the original memorial tree.

So, John Pawlak and Bob Crissman began working to create a surprise for the Westfall family and Truesdell. Crissman took the wood that could be salvaged and had it dried and cut by Andy Jean and then made picture frames, book stands, and pen holders.

Pawlak took hundreds of seeds from the original tree to Andy Wedel, manager at Wedel’s Garden Center, who nurtured the seedlings in his father’s basement all winter.

During the dedication ceremony, Margaret Crissman surprised Truesdell, giving her the items which had been made from the salvaged wood. Then, Wedel presented her with a pot of seedlings grown from the redbud’s seeds.

Truesdell had no idea what these men had been up to and was very touched by their kindess and generosity.

Other events at the dedication included the ribbon cutting done by Pawlak and Truesdell and the raising of the American flag for the first time in the garden by the Sons of the American Legion, while Anita Ritter sang the national anthem. The local Cub Scout Troop 25 led the Pledge of the Allegiance.

State Representative Margaret O’Brien presented a resolution to the Library. Local resident and library patron, Marilyn Jones, read a poem she had written. Ten individuals of all ages, and involvement in the community and the library itself read and urged support for the Declaration for the Right to Libraries.

The dedication also celebrated the completion of the final phase of the library’s building project which began in 2010.

“It has been an amazing process,” said Truesdell. “So many wonderful individuals have made this dream of mine a reality. I couldn’t be more pleased and humbled by the overwhelming support of this community.”

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