Event Author

Friday, November 3, 2017 

  • 6:00p.m. Celebration of Learning Society and Sponsor Reception
  • 7:15p.m. (sharp) Program with Suzan-Lori Parks
  • 8:30p.m. Dinner by Lindey’s
  • 9:00p.m. Book Signing
  • 11:00p.m. Event Concludes

96 S. Grant Ave.
Columbus, OH 43215

Join Us in Writing Our Twenty Fifth Chapter

Celebration of Learning is Columbus Metropolitan Library Foundation’s largest annual fundraiser and one of the most anticipated evenings on the city’s cultural calendar.

The Silver Anniversary of the event will feature a Pulitzer Prize winning Playwright and MacArthur “Genius” Award recipient, who has written screenplays for Academy Award winners like Brad Pitt, Oprah Winfrey and Denzel Washington.

Suzan-Lori Parks, the first African-American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and one of the few literary luminaries to be given a Gish Prize for her “outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind’s enjoyment and understanding of life”, will share her story with event attendees. In her own unique and performative way, Suzan will detail her journey from opening Topdog/Underdog on Broadway, to launching 365 Days / 365 Plays in over 700 theatres worldwide, to seeing her writing interpreted on film.

Afterwards, patrons will enjoy a delicious dinner while helping the library achieve its vision of a thriving community where wisdom prevails. The funds raised will be instrumental in helping the library inspire and transform lives, help educate children, and ensure that knowledge and opportunities are available for generations to come.

Frequently Asked Questions


Teen Author Visit

Celebration of Learning supporters help provide middle and high school students with the opportunity to hear a voice that speaks to their generation during Teen Read Week, author Maggie Stiefvater.

Entertainment Weekly has called Stiefvater, “one of the finest YA novelists writing today.” Stiefvater is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the novels Shiver, Linger, Forever and Sinner. Her novel The Scorpio Races was named a Michael L. Printz Honor Book by the American Library Association. The first book in The Raven Cycle, The Raven Boys, was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, and the second book, The Dream Thieves, was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Stiefvater will visit select Columbus Metropolitan Library locations in October. Details to follow.


2017 Celebration of Learning Committee

  • Melanie and Mike DeAscentis
Committee Members:  
  • Carol Andreae
  • John Behal
  • Jen Bowden
  • Barbara Brandt
  • Tony Brown
  • Christina Cheng
  • Darci Congrove
  • Sue Cooper
  • Barbara Derrow
  • Sandy Doyle-Ahern
  • DeeDee Glimcher
  • Don Gorman
  • Mary Jo Green
  • Melissa Ingwersen
  • Tom Katzenmeyer
  • Charlotte Kessler
  • Patrick King
  • Wayne Lawson
  • Trip Lazarus
  • Vicky Losinski
  • John Lowe


  • Nancy Lurie
  • Tom Lurie
  • Carol McGuire
  • Jennifer McNally
  • Antoinette Mongillo
  • Katharine Moore
  • Shannon Morgan
  • Lucy Porter
  • Cindy Rasmussen
  • Lynne Redgrave
  • Corde Westwater Robinson
  • Mark Ryan
  • Renée Shumate
  • Barbara Siemer
  • Cathy Strauss
  • Mary Weiler
  • Steven Weiler
  • Hope Wolman
  • Edward Yen
  • Ellen Yen
2017 Honorary Chairs

Dave and Kris Blom

Dave is president and chief executive officer of OhioHealth. He’s been a part of the OhioHealth family since 1983 and was named to his current position in 2002. Under Dave’s leadership as president and CEO of OhioHealth, the nationally recognized, not-for-profit health system provides care to 47 counties in Ohio.  Dave is very active in the central Ohio community and currently serves as Chair of the 2018 United Way Campaign. Likewise, he is on the boards of the Columbus Partnership, Columbus Downtown Development Commission, Columbus Foundation, Vizient, Kimball Midwest and Provista. He is also a member of the local World Presidents' Organization (WPO).

Kris is an Ohio native and through their church is active with the Open Shelter in Columbus.  She’s had a lifelong interest in learning and she holds a degree in elementary education from The Ohio State University. Kris has a deep passion for her family. She and Dave reside in Westerville and are the proud parents of three adult daughters and six grandchildren. Their home is the gathering place for everyone, including extended family!


2017 Columbus Metropolitan Library Foundation Award Honoree

Cordelia Westwater Robinson

With a B.A. in English, Cordelia Westerwater Robinson has held jobs in retail, marketing and advertising, and curation. She currently works for her family’s business, Westwater Company. Throughout her career, Corde has always found time to support her favorite causes such as Thurber House, Planned Parenthood of Central Ohio, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus Museum of Art, and CML.

Her passion to better our community coupled with her sense of humor and engaging attitude has made her legendary throughout central Ohio. She lists her career highlights as having an outhouse named in her honor in the Kingdom of Bhutan, setting a bakery on fire in Atlanta trying to bake a 6’ chocolate chip cookie, surviving a hippo attack in Botswana, and her work with CML.

Just a few of her accomplishments at the library include: past service on the CML Foundation Board, co-chairing the Great Libraries Create Campaign Committee, and serving on nearly every Celebration of Learning Host Committee in its 25-year run.


2017 Julian Sinclair Smith Award for Lifelong Learning Honoree

Robert J. Weiler Sr.

Bob joined The Robert Weiler Company in 1957. After receiving an undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona, Bob also earned a Master’s degree in real estate and a Doctoral degree in finance from The Ohio State University in 1964 and 1968 respectively. He was awarded a Juris Doctorate degree from the Capital University Law School and was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1983. He currently serves on the faculty of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and Capital University Law and Graduate Schools and is a regular lecturer for The Ohio Association of Realtors. Bob was committed for six years to the Ohio Real Estate Appraiser Board and acted as Chairman.

Bob received his MAI and SREA designations and functioned as President of the Ohio Chapter of the Appraisal Institute and the Columbus Board of Realtors. In 1976, Bob was selected as Realtor of the Year by the Columbus Board of Realtors and the Ohio Association of Realtors and has also served as Director of the National Association of Realtors.

Active in the Columbus community, Bob represented as President of the Columbus Board of Education and has maintained leadership roles for many organizations including Capital University, Center of Science and Industry (COSI), The Columbus Bar Association Foundation Board, Pilot Dogs Inc., Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH), Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), The Ohio State University Foundation Board, Columbus Urban League and YMCA of Metropolitan Columbus. A long-time supporter of the United Way, Bob served as Campaign Chairman in 1998.


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