Carnegie Public Library recently celebrated three women who have made significant donations over the years to the Children’s Department.
Sonja Seiler moved to Washington Court House in 1959 with her husband, Hans from Erlangen, Germany, to start their language translation business. She is a charter member of Altrusa of Washington Court House and is an active volunteer at Fayette County Memorial Hospital where she has volunteered for 23 years, accumulating more than 6,000 hours of service.
Many will recognize Sonja as a greeter in the ER where she assists patients and families in the registration process. At nearly 90 years of age, Seiler works out three times a week at the Y, still drives her car to Columbus, and plays competitive bridge. In honor of her generous donations in support of children’s literature, the library has assembled the “The Sonja Seiler Collection” of the 100 Best Books for Children. These books are time-honored classics in children’s literature and are in constant circulation.
Children who have finished reading all 100 books receive a trophy and a certificate. Many of the books in the collection were tattered and torn as they had been enthusiastically read many times. With Sonja’s donations the libray purchased a new set of the 100 Best Books. Each time Sonja has presented the library with a generous check, she says, “This is for the children of Fayette County.”
Alice Craig is another generous donor to the Children’s Department and an avid traveler. So the library organized the “Alice Craig Travel Collection in her honor.” The first overseas trip that Craig took, after her sophomore year at The Ohio State University and at the impressionable age of 20, was a life-changing experience. This influenced her to “keep on traveling,” as the noted travel expert Rick Steves says at the end of each of his TV programs.
She spent the summer of 1964 in the Soviet Union with two dozen other Russian-language majors from colleges all across the U.S. The museum and palace tours, theater performances and collective farm visits were all momentous for a girl from Bloomingburg. In later years she studied Russian in Moscow, German in Munich, French in Paris, and Spanish in Guadalajara, Mexico. Craig believes there are three kinds of joy associated with travel: 1) the pleasure while researching the destination (books come in handy); 2) the actual experiences while on the trip; 3) the pleasure while reminiscing afterward with others who have been to that destination.
The Vic’s Cook Nook Collection was assembled to honor Dr. Vickey Leasure, another enthusiastic library supporter. For years, Dr. Leasure has attended many children’s library programs accompanied by Mack and Allie, two of her grandchildren. She warmly remembers the unconditional love she felt cooking by her grandmother’s side.
“I am thrilled that this nook of children’s cook books could provide the same safe happy environment for kids and families in Fayette County who experience the joy of cooking together.”
A world traveler, Leasure has been inspired by all the locations she has visited. Dr. Leasure was posted for two years as a guidance counselor at an American school in Taiwan and has served as an English educator and counselor at various schools and colleges. At the library’s request, along with two sets of grandchildren, she will post two cooking shows on Carnegie Facebook and the Carnegie YouTube channel. A frequent entertainer, Vickey is noted for organizing the most interesting and delicious dinner parties.
The Children’s Department is pleased to honor these three women for their extraordinary support of the library. Please visit Carnegie and the children’s staff would be delighted to introduce you to three outstanding collections honoring three remarkable women.