The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — The Pioneer Library System, along with multiple partner organizations and the generosity of many individuals, has announced the donation of more than $70,000 from last fall’s Drawn Together fundraisers that will benefit the recovery of two local schools destroyed in last May’s tornado outbreak.
Donations were presented to the Moore Public Schools Foundation and to the Moore Public School system to rebuild the library collections at Briarwood and Plaza Towers, the two schools destroyed in an EF-5 tornado May 20.
The presentations were made during the recent regular meeting of the Pioneer Library System’s Board of Trustees at the Southwest Oklahoma City Public Library, located only about a mile from the main path of that tornado.
Briarwood Elementary School Media Specialist Teresa Schroeder was presented checks for a total of $70,549 from Moore Public Schools Foundation President Joshua Hinkle. Plaza Towers media specialist Pi Johnston was invited but was unable to attend.
The Drawn Together event featured Jeff Kinney, author of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series, Dav Pilkey of the “Captain Underpants” series, Lincoln Peirce of the “Big Nate” series and Stephan Pastis of the “Timmy Failure” series.
“The event was just awesome. I cannot tell you what it meant to our kids,” Schroeder said. “They still talk about it and are just reading everything they can get their hands on.”
The Norman event drew more than 1,500 attendees, with 250 tickets donated by Republic Bank & Trust, which co-sponsored — with PLS and the Metropolitan Library System — a special reception prior to the event in which families from Plaza Towers and Briarwood enjoyed a breakfast and a chance to meet the four authors.
The program was spearheaded by Kinney in the days and weeks following the devastating tornado outbreak.
“I had seen the events transpire on CNN, the tornadoes that went through Moore, and I was very touched by it and obviously affected,” Kinney said. “It wasn’t hard to imagine how it felt to be the parent of a kid who was unaccounted for.”
The authors’ publishers — Scholastic Books, Abrams Books, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins Publishers — each donated many books and resources and paid for the authors’ travel. This allowed 100 percent of donations from book, memorabilia and ticket sales to go directly to the schools.
“The support shown for this program both on a local and national level in response to our communities’ time of need has been very inspiring,” said Anne Masters, director of the Pioneer Library System.
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