Raymond Suckling Birthday Bash September 1st

Join us Saturday, September 1st on what would have been Mr. Raymond Suckling’s 97th birthday to celebrate his generosity in providing funding in perpetuity to Sewickley Public Library.

Raymond Suckling, who passed away on September 29, 2014 at age 93, was a World War II veteran who worked as a mechanical engineer at Koppers Company until his retirement in 1985. On Dec. 28, 1993, with an initial gift of $6,000, he established the Raymond C. and Martha S. Suckling donor-advised fund at the Foundation in memory of his parents. Sewickley Public Library received several donations from the fund throughout the years, but the January 2018 announcement of $500,000 a year in perpetuity was a complete surprise. The library will begin to receive the gift in full beginning in 2021, and intends to enhance library facilities with additional quiet study areas, collaborative work spaces, and an expanded Teen department, as well as strengthen the library’s endowment to help ensure its long-term sustainability.

While Mr. Suckling was not married and had no children, his closest friend and companion in later years was Betty Hallett. He also maintained close relationships with her sons and their wives, Buddy and Barbara of Pleasant Lake, Mich.; and Thomas and Hazel of Islamorada, Fl. “He did not have his own family but he loved home cooked meals and playing with our kids, who called him Uncle Ray,” said Barbara Hallett. “He especially loved Mario Brothers video games and playing with Legos – that was the engineer in him.” While the Hallett family knew he had financial resources, they had no idea of the extent of his wealth. They describe him as an unpretentious and deeply curious man who loved to read and engage people in conversations about their lives.

Mr. Suckling’s Birthday Bash on September 1 will include a demo by Steel City Drones inside the historic 1923 building of the library in a nod to his career as an engineer, as well as all day MarioKart play and a Lego Building contest to celebrate his love of children and families. We will also celebrate with balloons, cupcakes, prizes, and the unveiling of a plaque in his honor. Please join us to honor the generosity of this extraordinary man.


All Day Events

SPL Lego Exhibition – Check out the array of Lego builds in the Children’s Department! Expo runs from September 1 – September 15.
MarioKart Station – GAME ON for ALL DAY MarioKart play in the Teen Department!
World War II Display – WWII memorabilia from the SPL Local History Room will be on exhibit in the library’s display cases.

Event Times

1:00 PM – Celebration with balloons, claw machine prizes and cupcakes in the library lobby.
1:00 – 2:00 PM – Steel City Drones Demonstration by Dave King of Steel City Drones – All ages are invited to learn about drones and see them in action, including an indoor flying demonstration in our reference area. [This program will be held in the main reference area and will disrupt the normal library service.]
1:30 – 3:30 PM – Bubble Science with the Carnegie Science Center – Drop by the Children’s Department for Make and Take Bubble Cups with the folks from the Carnegie Science Center!

Mr. Suckling’s Birthday Bash – September 1st Celebration!