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The donor wall in the Library's main lobby lists the names of individuals, organizations, and businesses, that have donated $1,000 or more to the Foundation. Inclusion on the wall is cumulative, so donors may advance from one category to another over the years as they continue to make donations to the Foundation. The donor categories have been named after well-known Illinois authors: Abraham Lincoln, Ernest Hemingway, Carl Sandburg, Lorraine Hansberry, and Vachel Lindsay.
Annual donations to the Library Foundation of $1,000 or more entitle the donor to membership in the Carnegie Society. Members are recognized by inclusion on the donor wall, a special pin, listing in the annual report, and invitations to special events.
The Legacy Donors are made up of individuals who have included the St. Charles Public Library Foundation in their estate plan. Legacy Donors members are recognized by inclusion on the Legacy Donors Plaque and by invitations to special events.
Abraham Lincoln $50,000 and up
The 16th President of the United States was born on February 12, 1809, in his own words, "in the most humble walks of life." The son of uneducated parents from Kentucky pioneer country, this "Rail Splitter from Illinois" had only one year of formal schooling. His passion for knowledge and his great love of reading and study filled the gaps in his formal education. In spite of the disadvantages of his background, he wrote some of the most eloquent speeches and letters in American literature. An assassin's bullet silenced his voice on April 15, 1865.
Ernest Hemingway $25,000 to $49,999
Ernest Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois. War, death, and sports were major themes in his writing. Living in Paris in the 1920s, Hemingway became part of the "lost generation" and was influenced in his early writings by Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and Sherwood Anderson. In 1953, Hemingway won both the Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes for The Old Man and the Sea. He died on July 2, 1961.
Carl Sandburg $10,000 to $24,999
Poet and Lincoln biographer Carl August Sandburg was born on January 6, 1878, in Galesburg, Illinois. Leaving school at the age of 13, Sandburg began a varied career. Sandburg was part of the "Chicago School" of writers, which also included Theodore Dreiser, Ben Hecht, Edgar Lee Masters, and Sherwood Anderson. From 1920 to 1939, Sandburg wrote six volumes of Lincoln biographies. In 1940, this biography of Abraham Lincoln won a Pulitzer Prize. In 1951, his Complete Poems won the Pulitzer Prize. The two major themes of Sandburg's work are his search for the meaning of American history and his enthusiasm for the common man. He died on July 22, 1967.
Lorraine Hansberry $5,000 to $9,999
Lorraine Hansberry was born in Chicago on May 19, 1930. Best known as a playwright, she also was an early and active civil rights reformer. Although she left college after two years, she continued her self-education through voracious reading and by taking classes. Her first play, A Raisin in the Sun, in 1959 won the New York Drama Critics' Award for the Best Play of the Year. In 1961, the film version won the Cannes Film Festival Award. Following her untimely death at the age of thirty-four in 1965, her husband Robert Nemiroff edited and published Les Blancs: The Collected Last Plays of Lorraine Hansberry. The work contains selections, photographs of and drawings by Hansberry, and is considered the best source of information about her life and work.
Vachel Lindsay $1,000 to $4,999
Poet Nicholas Vachel Lindsay was born in Springfield, Illinois on November 10, 1879, in a house in which Mary Todd Lincoln's sister had lived and which had been visited often by the Lincolns. Lindsay is credited with spurring interest in poetry in the early 20th century due to his originality, eccentricity, and flair for publicity. He became a popular reciter of his rhythmic, colorful, and exciting poetry. In 1920, he became the first American poet to be asked to recite his poetry at Oxford University. He died on December 5, 1931.