KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
March 18, 2021
By Jennifer Miko
14-year-old Celia “CiCi” Ray Rico passed away in January, and members of the Katy community have organized a tribute to her. The Katy Junior High eighth grader will be honored with the installation of a Little Free Library in the Katy Heritage Park.
Photo: Lizz Woods, @LizzLynnPhotos
Members of the community will be able to take a book or share a book at the new Little Free Library at Katy Heritage Park, 5990 George Bush Dr. The unveiling of the lending library, dedicated to Celia “CiCi” Ray Rico, will take place on Friday, April 2, around 10:15 a.m.
The Katy Heritage Society Easter event will follow, at 11 a.m.
“Celia always had a book in her hand – it was either a novel book or poem book,” recalls her mother, Deana Davidson-Maikranz. “This library means so many things to me and our family. It helps to keep her name alive for many years to come and to help suicide awareness.”
Plans for the Little Free Library
Adrienne Davitz is the President of the Katy Heritage Society and a chairperson of the Katy Heritage Parks board. She said the idea for the lending library was approved by both boards with overwhelming support. They have been collecting books for a few months and have hundreds already.
The actual structure, provided by XXL Construction, will be 16” wide and 21” tall, and will be able to hold 20-30 books depending on their size. Davitz said the library will feature books for young adults, but they will rotate a variety of books to meet the needs of all ages.
The exact location of the lending library hasn’t been determined yet, due to sprinkler and underground electrical lines.
“We are hoping to put it between the historic post office and the bandstand/gazebo near the sidewalk and parking lot,” says Davitz.
Neighbors Reach Out
Rory Robertson is also on the board of the Katy Heritage Society. He and CiCi’s family are neighbors, and two of his sons attend Katy Junior High, and knew CiCi.
“When I learned of the passing of a young child, I wanted to help in any means possible,” says Rory Robertson.
He spoke with CiCi’s mother Deana Davidson-Maikranz and learned what a remarkable young lady her daughter was. She told Robertson about CiCi’s love for animals and reading.
“Deana stated that she had a dream for a library to be placed in CiCi’s name,” says Robertson. “I told her that we would get it done.”
Robertson and Davitz coordinated on the idea and plans to honor CiCi were put into motion.
Community Comes Together
“The best thing about Katy are the wonderful people,” says Davitz. “Rory and I simply asked a few friends and family for help, and within a few days, we had everything we needed to see this project blossom.”
Robertson’s brother Ace owns XXL Construction and supports the community and many causes.
“Ace has a passion to help especially when it comes to kids,” says Robertson. “When I asked for his support, he immediately offered any financial assistance needed to make this library come to fruition.”
Robertson says they hope to have a small plaque on the library door with a memorial to CiCi.
“In addition, we plan on placing a small decal with the suicide awareness ribbon and the quote “It’s okay to not be okay,” says Robertson. “Plus, we have a stamp with the same information that we plan to place on the inside of each donated book.”
“The stamp with the message is for anyone of any age to know, ‘it’s OK to not be OK’ – whether a bad day, emotions, mental health, invisible diseases, work, etc,” says Davidson-Maikranz. “We all feel so many things, and sometimes feel ashamed of our problems. But it is OK to not be OK all the time. We are human.”
For information about suicide prevention, click here or if you or someone you know is in crisis, call 1-800-273-8255.
For more information about the Katy Heritage Society, visit their website here.