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Republic Recognized by Pioneer Library System Board for Support of Moore Community 

Photo of Chuck Thompson, Ashley Miller, and Aiden Street.  The caption of the photo reads, " Chuck Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of Republic Bank & Trust, accepts a PLS Board of Trustees recognition from Moore Public Library Branch Manager Ashley Miller and Southwest OKC Public Library Branch Manager Aiden Street.  The bank was recognized for its contributions to the community in the aftermath of last May's tornado outbreak.The Pioneer Library System, along with multiple partner organizations and the generosity of many individuals, announced the donation of more than $70,000 from the “Drawn Together” fundraisers that benefited the recovery of two local schools destroyed in the May 2013 tornado outbreak. Donations were presented to the Moore Public Schools Foundation and in turn to the Moore Public School system to rebuild the library collections at Briarwood and Plaza Towers, the two schools destroyed in an F5 tornado May 20, 2013.

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 unable to attend the board meeting.

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, who 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 in a more intimate setting. 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.”

Picture of the author/illustrators Dav Pilkey, Stephan Pastis, Jeff Kinney and Lincoln PeirceAlso a big part of the program were the efforts of the authors’ publishers, Scholastic Books, Abrams Books, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins Publishers, each of which donated many books and resources and also 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.

Drawn Together was sponsored by Republic Bank and Trust, the Pioneer Library System, Tulsa City-County Library System, TulsaKids Magazine, Universal Uclick, GoComics, The Preservation Framer, The Metropolitan Library System, Scholastic Books, Abrams Books, HarperCollins Publishers and Candlewick Press.

Article graciously provided by Pioneer Library System.