National Library Week 2017 Profile – Stacey Hassels

The Hassels and Laughlins at one of their famous Lemonade for the Library stands.

Stacey Hassels of Huntley is one of those unique people that have been transformed by libraries so much that she decided to give back and help transform her local library. Hassels, a teacher in Huntley’s Consolidated School District 158, began using libraries at the age of 3. One of her fondest childhood memories was setting up a lemonade stand with all of her cousins. They set up their stand on the golf course across the street from her Great Grandmother’s house. Together, they would serve the golfers lemonade and charge 25 cents a glass.

Fast-forward to 2008. Stacey, along with her twin sister Laura, continued that tradition with their children. The dynamic-duo started their first “Lemonade for the Library” stand when the kids were just three and five years old. “Each year, the family would stop in during the summer and drop off a donation with these gigantic smiles on their faces”, said Doug Cataldo of the Huntley Area Public Library. Their generosity to the library opened up a way for others in the community to help their library as Lemonade for the Library has become a yearly community event. “We had other libraries in other states asking us how the event was put together, and if they could use the graphics and signs we designed”, Cataldo added.

Hassels states, “There are now six cousins that host this annual lemonade stand and we still charge just 25 cents a glass. We set up the stand in our driveway, make our homemade poster and try to sell as much lemonade as we can”! When their day is over, they gather all the money earned in a ziplock bag and hand-deliver it to the friendly folks at the Huntley Library. The library uses these funds to purchase many new books and resources for the library’s Children’s Department. Many families have followed the Hassels and Laughlin’s footsteps and host their own lemonade stands in our community for the Huntley Library.

Stacey cites Creepy Carrots and The Very Hungry Caterpillar as her favorite books and visits the library often to check out books with her children and for her classroom. While many people’s lives have been transformed by libraries, it is beyond a shadow of a doubt that Stacey, her sister Laura and their children have helped transform the Huntley Area Public Library.