By John Anderson
On Thursday afternoon, about 40 guests joined the Trustees of the Auburn Public Library and the Friends of the Auburn Public Library to pay tribute to Norma E. Card. When Ms. Card passed away on November 8, 2011 at the age of 92, she bequeathed $120,000 to the Library. She also willed the same amount to the Auburn Fire Department.
Those in attendance were invited to “an afternoon tea with selected readings from community members.” Organized by the Friends, the event included sandwiches and deserts catered by Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School; butterflies made by students at Pakachoag and Julia Bancroft schools and suspended from metal hangers donated by Dooley’s Cleaners; and many varieties of hot and cold tea.
Ms. Card loved many things including butterflies, the works of Emily Dickinson, and the fall season. All were present on Thursday. Library Trustee Suzette Cortney Dowd served as the emcee, and the first speaker was Jane Wald, Executive Director of the Emily Dickinson Museum. Chris Benvenuti, a friend of Norma Card, then read a Dickinson poem.
Retired Mary D. Stone Principal Elizabeth Johnson shared some personal memories about her friend Norma, and School Superintendent Maryellen Brunelle read a personal favorite children’s book, Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly. Shelley Hamm-Moylan, a first grade teacher at Mary D. Stone, read three poems, two of which she authored.
The last reader was high school senior Jeanelle Wheeler who read her short story about a young girl in Germany before and during WWII. The story had a very nice inclusion of butterflies and was a wonderful conclusion to this wonderful tribute.