Utah's 75th anniversary gala recognizes centenarian patrons
Utah state library and NLS honored centenarian patrons Hazel Davila and Annie Wamsley at Utah's inaugural 102 Talking-Book Club event held in Salt Lake City on August 7, 2006. NLS network division chief Carolyn Hoover Sung, the family of senator Reed Smoot, and Utah first lady Mary Kaye Huntsman hosted the event at the library to launch the club and mark seventy-five years of service to the blind and physically handicapped community.
Huntsman congratulated Davila and Wamsley on their century of active reading. Sung presented each centenarian with a 102 Club certificate, pin, and letter from NLS director Frank Kurt Cylke.
Hazel Davila is one hundred years old and has been a patron of the Utah talking-book program since 1991. She was born and raised on a farm in Utah. Until a recent illness, Davila regularly visited the state library to pick out books, and routinely brought treats to thank the staff for their services. She enjoys reading Erle Stanley Gardner and other classic mystery writers, as well as books about local topics.
One-hundred-and-one-year-old Annie Wamsley lives in northern Utah and attended the event with her great-granddaughters from Evanston, Wyoming. She has been a talking-book patron since 1990. A fast reader, Wamsley gets through two books a week and favors books on local history and interests. Said Wamsley, "I am grateful to the library for providing so many good books to read. I appreciate the service very much."
The affair also observed the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Pratt-Smoot Act, the legislation that authorized the Library of Congress to provide regional centers with books for blind adults. More than a dozen members of senator Reed Smoot's family were present to commemorate the senator's legacy. Smoot's eighty-year-old grandson, also named Reed Smoot, and his great-granddaughters, Anita and Kathryn Smoot Egan, read letters the senator wrote about his efforts to increase reading materials for blind adults.
Four Salt Lake City television stations and a radio station broadcast news of the event. These stations were ABC affiliate KTVX channel 4, CBS affiliate channel 2, FOX 13, PBS affiliate KUED, and PBS radio station KUER.