By Elizabeth Varville, Correspondent
On Saturday, Feb. 27, the 12th annual Book and Author Luncheon sponsored by Friends of the Lena Armstrong Public Library (LAPC) was held at the Lord Conference Room in the Parker Conference Center at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas. The luncheon honors outstanding Texas authors.
The Book and Author Luncheon is the primary fundraiser where funds are used to acquire special books, periodicals, and non-budget amenities. Friends of the LAPL also provides and coordinates volunteer help as needed, develops, implements programs of community interest, and serves as advocates for the advancement of the library. This year’s luncheon included a silent auction and an Author Reception, Book Sale, and Autographing following the program.
The Friends of the LAPL honored Joe Baisden of Belton with the Friend of Friends Award. Baisden’s wife, Janelle, accepted the award on his behalf.
“On behalf of Joe and our family, I would like to thank the Friends of the Library for this honor. This organization is very dear to his heart and we so appreciate this award. As I left, his words were ‘Oh how I wish I could go and help park cars,” said Janelle Baisden.
The luncheon featured Rachel Anne Ridge, author of “Flash: The Homeless Donkey Who Taught Me About Life, Faith and Second Chances”, George Weaver author of “The End: Flights of the Owl”, and Carol O’Keefe Wilson author of “In the Governor’s Shadow.”
“My husband and I had started an art business in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. The economy was booming and huge mansions were being built at a very fast speed and our business was very successful due to this fact. But by the time 2007 came, we began to feel the pinch and those dream jobs were getting harder and harder to find. As we turned into our driveway one night after, we had finished our last job, there stood a shaggy stray donkey. He seemed like the last possible thing I needed, but I just fell in love with this donkey,” said Ridge.
According to Friends of the LAPL, Rachel Anne Ridge is an artist and writer who lives in Ovilla, Texas. She is the mother to three grown children and grandmother to two grandchildren. Ridge writes an online blog at HomeSanctuary.com.
George Allison Weaver was born in 1952 in Speyer, Germany. Abandoned soon after birth, he was placed in private and foster homes for a time and then into an orphanage. Major Ralph and Nell Weaver met Allison on Thanksgiving Day at St. Mary’s Orphanage and Weaver became part of their family soon thereafter; becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen at age five. Weaver has worked in the legal profession as a legal secretary, paralegal, court reporter, an insurance investigator, a criminal defense investigator, and a writer. He also composes piano and vocal music, teaches voice lessons, and conducts two choruses in the Central Texas area.
Carol O’Keefe Wilson is a 1987 graduate of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, a Texas CPA, and a retired certified Fraud Examiner. She enjoyed a long career that included both the public and private sectors of accounting before her retirement. A native of Temple, Wilson has an insatiable interest in local history.
The luncheon ended with the announcement of the silent auctions winners.