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Summit County woman remembered through library kids events

CAITLIN ROW
summit daily news
Summit Daily/Mark Fox
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SUMMIT COUNTY – To honor longtime local Elaine Gerson’s love for children and reading, Summit County libraries will host the Salida Circus kids show on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.

Gerson was a dedicated library volunteer before her death in 1997, and her family established the Elaine Gerson Fund to put on free children’s library programs in the area.

“Children’s programs were especially close to Elaine’s heart,” said Summit County’s North Branch Library manager Janet Good.

The Colorado circus troop is all set to perform the “Scarlet Sisters Lost Mermaid” act to end this summer’s “Make a Splash” reading program. It’s a 50-minute interactive show including acrobatics, juggling, unicycling, songs and audience participation.

It will be at the South Branch in Breckenridge on Tuesday, July 27 at 11 a.m.; at the Main Branch in Frisco at the County Commons on Wednesday, July 28 at 10:30 a.m.; and at the North Branch in Silverthorne at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 28, as well.

“We’ve been doing water-themed reading programs all summer long,” said Joyce Dierauer, Summit County’s library director.

On top of the circus, kids will receive prizes for their summer reading successes.

A longtime library volunteer

Gerson and her husband, Egon, moved to Summit County full-time in 1977, after visiting the area for summer and winter vacations for numerous years. They first had a condo in Dillon Valley before moving to Silverthorne. Egon Gerson still lives in the area.

“She helped out at all three libraries,” Dierauer said. “She was a retired school librarian.”

Gerson was also a huge helper with The Friends of the Summit County Libraries organization – a group that fundraises and sponsors programs locally.

According to Good, Gerson specialized in making lemon poppy-seed cake for December book and bake sales. And when the Summit County Libraries switched to computer checkouts, she put bar-codes on almost every single book in the North Branch.

“She put on a bar-code, entered it into the computer and put it on the shelf,” Good said. “That’s a big job.”

Remembering Gerson

When Gerson died, her family formed a fund in her name to establish library programming in her memory. They also commissioned a bench to be placed at the North Branch in Silverthorne, where she did much of her volunteering.

“The bench is a mosaic of Colorado wildflowers, because she also loved flowers,” Good said. “It’s out here under a tree by the North Branch library in Silverthorne, next to the bike path. People use it all the time.”

Dierauer said Gerson’s family members donate to the fund every year “because she was such a supporter of children.”

Summit County’s libraries use the dividends produced by the fund to do a special program annually.

“This year we will do this circus,” Dierauer said. “She would have thought this would be a marvelous thing to do for the end-of-summer reading program event.”

For more information about the Salida Circus, visit http://www.salidacircus.com.

SDN reporter Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at crow@summitdaily.com.


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