On March 21, 2000, six-year old Lauren Stotlar boarded her
school bus for the trip home from her first grade class. During the
ride she read aloud to her seat companion from the book she had selected from
her classroom library that day: "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue
Fish" by Dr. Seuss. She was extremely proud of having learned to
read. That afternoon Lauren died tragically near her
home in Dexter, Michigan.
Lauren's mother, Julie (Edmondson) grew up in Richmond Heights and worked for
Dr. Leo Hrdlika one summer as part of her veterinary medicine training.
Lauren's father, Douglas, grew up in Newbury and was a patron of the Burton
Public Library from preschool through high school. Doug's mother, Jean,
has been treasurer of the Friends of the Burton Public Library since
Members of the Friends purchased a flowering crabapple tree to plant on the
front lawn of the library in Lauren's memory. At that time, the Friends
executive board discussed how lovely it would be to establish a reading garden
on the front grounds that would compliment the lovely historic building that
houses the library. The Friend's president, Lisa Buckles, contacted The
Pattie Group. She related Lauren's story and how it had inspired the dream
of a reading garden. The Pattie Group consented to donate a portion of
their design fee and began working with the Library Reading Garden Committee to
develop the garden you see today.
"Lauren's Corner" is dedicated to the spirit of that six-year-old girl
who was so proud of being able to read.