‘Ilene’s Sharing Library’ Unveiled at Hoffman Beach

Rest In Peace Ilene Sanford July 19, 1961, to November 2, 2021

Christie Hegyi-Gardner and Michael Sanford unveils ‘Ilene’s Sharing Library’

PARSIPPANY — Lake Parsippany Book Club members unveiled ‘Ilene’s Sharing Library’ on Lakeshore Drive near Hoffman Beach. Ilene Sanford was a very special person. So the club wanted to create something meaningful in her memory.

About 18 years ago a book club was formed in Lake Parsippany. At open houses, they had a little table with a clipboard sign-up sheet and a little invitation that said ‘Ask Us About Book Club.’  Ilene was drawn to that word –  BOOK.  Ilene loved books and enthusiastically signed up!

“The funny thing was, she acquired all the books. They met once a month for 18 years: that’s quite a few books.  BUT…she rarely had time to actually READ a book,” said book club member Christie Hegyi-Gardner.

Michael Sanford places a book in ‘Ilene’s Sharing Library’ Photo by Daniel Gardner 

Ilene was BUSY! how could she? She was one busy lady. She was the wife of Bob, mother to sons Paul & Michael. She was also a daughter, sister, and friend. She worked full-time at  Pearson, a publishing house (note the theme of books).

She always volunteers and helps with all sorts of local events at Eastlake Elementary School, Brooklawn Junior High, and Parsippany Hills High School, where her two sons attended.  She attended many Tricky Trays to support local causes. And of course, buying books! She was Busy!

Although not much time to read, she rarely missed a book club gathering. And she usually brought a Diet Pepsi and donuts to share with the group.

She found the time, found a way, even when it became quite a bit harder. She was there. She showed up. Books bring people together.

When the book club was thinking of a way to honor Ilene’s memory, they had a lot of great ideas. They knew it had to involve books – so when they landed on the little library idea, it was a start, but there were still many questions:

What style? What type of material? how big? how to build it? who can build it? Location? Who can access it? How will they pay for it? How do they maintain it?

Dream vs. reality on projects play a big part and as they questioned and discussed the ideas, one of the latest members Meg (who had never met Ilene and only joined recently) happened to hear the idea. She mentioned her friend Marissa was involved with a girl scout troop – Troop 97442 – and they were likely willing to do a project. Bingo! Wonderful!

“The way this all fell into place felt as if it was meant to be. This lake community is special and can come together to do extraordinary things,” said Christie.

Thanks to the wonderful people in the book club for the ideas and enthusiasm.

Thanks to the Lake Parsippany Property Owners Association and Pulkit for support.

Thank you to the Ladies Club for providing funds.

Girl Scout Troop 97442 built ‘Ilene’s Sharing Library’ Photo by Daniel Gardner 

Huge Thanks to Troop 97442 for assembling and painting this gift to the community.

To the adult ‘assistants’ Marissa and Craig May, Meg and Joe Mautone,  a heartfelt Thank You.

Very special gratitude to Ilene’s family for sharing her wonderful book collection with Lake Parsippany.

Members joined in the unveiling of ‘Ilene’s Sharing Library’.’ Photo by Daniel Gardner 

We hope that people walk by Ilene’s Sharing Library and that a book sparks their interest and then pass it on and continue to share over and over. No need to bring the book back.  Ilene’s Family and the LPPOA Book Club plan to keep the library stocked.

Continue to share Ilene’s love of books. Ilene would very much approve.

Rest In Peace Ilene Sanford July 19, 1961, to November 2, 2021

The Lake Parsippany Book Club meets to discuss books meets the third Tuesday of the month and is open to everyone. The Book Club is a group of friendly people that share a love of reading. They have informal gatherings in various locations about once a month to chat about our latest selection, as well as various other topics that inevitably arise! Welcome to anyone that loves to read, has an opinion, and can recommend a good book. Click here for more information.

Girl Scouts placing books in ‘Ilene’s Sharing Library’ Photo by Daniel Gardner