Chair raffle at BPL set for Oct. 16

Annie Smith donated the cedar chair April Hopkins, Children's Services Librarian with the Bryan Public Library, looks very comfortable in at the Bryan Public Library. (Photo by Donna Summerall, DTL)
Staff Writer

Annie Smith appreciates the Bryan Public Library and all it offers to the community. This is the second time the local artisan has created a piece of hand-crafted wood furniture and given it to Friends of the Library to help raise funds. The winning ticket will be drawn Oct. 16.

"Last year in March, I donated a Bois d'arc chair to Friends of the Library for a raffle," Smith said. "It was very successful, so this year I am donating a cedar chair. Wilma Lee helped me apply the sealant. It is very different from the Bois d'arc chair. It can't be out in the weather. It will need to be inside. Supervisor Lynn Horton and some men came and picked it up and transported it to the library. They were a huge help to me."

She wanted to do something that would help the library continue to be a central part of the community. With no end to budget cuts for local libraries in sight. Smith wanted to use her talent for creating furniture to help the Bryan Public Library.

Smith often walks around her property, looking at the trees and the branches. During those walks she sees a piece of furniture in her mind that those trees can become. Whether the trees are cedar or Bois d'arc, she will work with the wood to create a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture.

The truly remarkable thing is, Smith has been living with Parkinson's disease since 1998. She creates the furniture with battery operated power tools.

She said she loves working with wood and creating rustic furniture, but her heart is in libraries.

"It seems that every year the legislature continues to cut funding for public libraries," Smith said. "Do they not understand how important libraries are, especially to small communities like West Point?"

Smith taught in the West Point Consolidated School District for 17 years as an English teacher, so she understands the importance of books.

"Books provide opportunities through imagination," Smith said. "Books open worlds for children. Libraries are free to everyone. That is too important to not support public libraries all we can."

Lucille Armstrong, president of Friends, is thrilled to have another chair from Smith to help raise money for the BPL.

"You don't have to be present that day to win," Armstrong said. "We'll call you if you aren't at the library that day."

All proceeds go to the library for books, children's programs and supplies, Armstrong said.

"I'm always amazed at what Annie can do," Armstrong said. "And I'm so grateful that she thinks of us and is so generous to donate these chairs she works so hard to create. The tickets are for sale at the library now, $5 each or five for $20. We will draw for the winner, Wednesday, Oct. 16, during Luncheon With Books."