Last weekend I spent some time with my cousins on my Dad's side of my family, my 'McLellan' cousins. My cousin, Carol Connolly, was the recipient of the 2011 Kay Sexton award for contributions to Minnesota's book community. She was honored at a gala sponsored by the St. Paul Friends of the Library. It was so much fun to be there! The event started with cocktails in the lobby area of the Crowne Plaza Hotel on the river in downtown St. Paul. Then we moved into the ballroom for dessert and champaign. All 700 of us! It was a sellout event.
Carol knew that she would receive the award and had her remarks ready. She was introduced by Mayor Coleman and gave a lovely and somewhat humorous speech. But not too long of a speech because last year's recipient went on for 45 minutes after a 30 minute introduction, so Carol had been warned to keep her remarks brief. Actually, Mayor Coleman spoke longer than Carol did.
The Minnesota Book Awards honor authors with Minnesota connections and I believe there were nine categories of awards. The books are nominated during the year and voted on and then the award (which this year was a lovely glass sculpture) is presented at the Gala. It played like the Oscars. Big screens around the room featured the book covers as the nominees were announced. Suspense built, and then an envelope was brought to the podium and the winner announced. A three-piece jazz group provided music. It was a BIG DEAL.
The next day, Carol's daughter Katie had a brunch in honor of her mom. Here are some pictures: