Pickford Library receives $50,000 donation from Ann Marie Smith Memorial

On Wednesday, June 1st, the community of Pickford and the family and friends of Ann Marie Smith gathered to celebrate Ann Marie Smith’s life. Ann Marie Smith was the former librarian of the Pickford Community Library. She passed away on Valentine’s Day in 2020. A memorial service had been planned for March of that year, however it had been canceled due to the pandemic. The family and the community were glad to be able to reschedule the memorial service this June to remember and honor Ann Marie. Memories were shared of how loving and welcoming Ann Marie was to her community. “She made everyone feel like they were her favorite person,” said Oliver Dankert, 13, a regular patron at the library who often had discussions with Ann Marie about what he was reading, “she didn’t talk to me like a kid, but as an equal.” 

Jenni Smith, Ann Marie’s niece, spoke of her late-night talks with her Aunt Ann, and Aunt Ann’s showering of love and generosity towards her and others. Ann Marie’s brother Kip Smith spoke of the honor of growing up with one of the smartest people in the world, and of Ann Marie’s ability to remember many conversations of long-ago word for word. Jessica Paulsen shared of her immediate friendship and connection with Ann Marie and the book recommendations passed back and forth between them. Many community members went up and testified to Ann Marie’s tireless kindness and compassion. 

Kip and Jenni Smith surprised the Pickford Community Library by donating $50,000 in Ann Marie’s honor towards the renovations happening in the new library building. This brings the library’s fundraising total to $112,802.75 of their $150,000 goal, an incredible contribution that will get the library in its location sooner. The library staff, volunteers, and community cannot be more thankful for this generous donation and look forward to moving the library to its new location sometime this summer. The new library will feature the Ann Marie Memorial Garden, which will be put in place in the summer of 2023.

From left to right: Jenni Smith, Kip Smith, Lisa Waskin (Superior District Library Director), Cathie Chenoweth (Fundraising Team Leader for the Pickford Community Library New Building Project)
Jessica Paulsen leading Ann Marie’s Memorial Service

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