Celebrate the Marie Wilkinson family legacy at Santori Library July 13

  • On Saturday, July 13, the Aurora Public Library invites the community to join in celebrating the legacy of the Marie Wilkinson family with a variety of activities. Stop by the statue of Marie at the library's west entrance to snap a photo with her or read her a story.

    On Saturday, July 13, the Aurora Public Library invites the community to join in celebrating the legacy of the Marie Wilkinson family with a variety of activities. Stop by the statue of Marie at the library's west entrance to snap a photo with her or read her a story. Courtesy of Aurora Public Library

Updated 7/10/2019 5:08 PM

Join the Aurora Public Library on Saturday, July 13, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in celebrating the legacy of the Wilkinson family.

The festivities will include a day full of memories, artifacts, and unveiling of the iconic bullwhip at the Santori Library, 101 S. River St.


Enjoy reminiscing with old friends, while feeling the impact of this important family on our shared communal experience.

The day will kick off with an information fair from 9:30 a.m. to noon in the library's atrium where you can learn about various social justice organizations Marie Wilkinson supported, including Mutual Ground, Family Focus, and several other nonprofit agencies.

Continue to experience the impact the Wilkinson family had as you watch a video capturing the intensity of the role Donald Wilkinson played in American history.

Several artifacts connecting him to the Korean War and his experience as a paratrooper in that conflict will be on display in Room 126 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Have your own memories of the Wilkinson family? Stop by the Memory Roundtable, featuring photos of the Wilkinsons, and try to identify the people who accompany them. Browse endless photos of times past and write your memories in the memory book from 12:30 to 3 p.m. in the teen program room.

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At 1:30 p.m., stop by the ribbon-cutting ceremony where there will be an unveiling of the iconic whip from the Wilkinson family collection. Her father-in-law, Charles, escaped from slavery with the bull whip used to beat him.

An artifact that many of the citizens of Aurora are familiar with as an instrument that symbolized punishment transformed into a teaching tool that Marie used in several of her classroom visits throughout the community.

"The Aurora Public Library is honored to be the caretakers of the Wilkinson family collection, most notably the iconic bullwhip as a family and community artifact. Marie presented this violent instrument of oppression to illustrate the wounds of history and as a driving force toward social justice to children in Aurora and beyond. It is our responsibility at the Aurora Public Library to continue her legacy," says Krista Danis, events and program coordinator at the Santori Library.

There will be a short presentation and ribbon cutting, when they will reveal the whip, which will be on permanent display on the second floor of Santori Library. Afterward, enjoy cake in honor of the Wilkinson Family and the profound impact each member has played in creating a civil and just society, both in Aurora and internationally.


Are you a graduate of Madonna Catholic High School in Aurora? Join Sheila Scott-Wilkinson, class of 1963, for a reunion in room 125 from 2 to 3 p.m. Memories will be shared about the school, which opened in 1926 with 118 girls. It later merged in 1968 with the Roncalli School for Boys to form Aurora Central Catholic High School. Cake will be served. Join in celebrating Shelia's graduating class! Contact Margie Logman, Clas of '66, with any questions at mlogmannmargie@gmail.com

End the day with our judges, as they determine the winner of the Wilkinson Teen Art Contest! Judges include teen members of the Eola Road Branch TAB group, library administration, and Shelia Scott-Wilkinson. Participants in the library's Wilkinson Teen Art Contest will have their work displayed in the Atrium throughout the day. The winning piece will best illuminate the Wilkinson spirit as described in Marie's biography, "Gentle Spirit." The first-place winner will receive a $300 gift card to Amazon, with the second earning a $100 gift card and third place receiving a $50 gift card.

Don't forget to read to Marie from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.! The Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry will accept donations, and donating will earn you the opportunity to share your favorite passage or story with the library's Marie statue, seated on a bench at the west entrance of Santori. This is a great opportunity for a photo to remember and share the day!

Want to take some meaningful pieces of the Wilkinson Family Collection? Stop by the auction from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Atrium. You can bid on meaningful pieces of the Wilkinson Collection at the silent auction, available throughout the day in the atrium alongside Marie's Charities. See significant pieces of the collection and choose your favorite one!

For information, call (630) 264-4100 or visit www.aurorapubliclibrary.org.

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