West Side Nut Club

Book Launch: “Tiny Teak” and “From Acorns to Oaks”

September 8, 2023 @ 5:30 pm 7:00 pm

A book launch event celebrating the release of Tiny Teak and From Acorns to Oaks: A Century of West Side Nut Club Fall Festivals and Philanthropy.

Tiny Teak by local authors Mary Ellen Ziliak & Lucy Ziliak Will, illustrated by Joan Dewig deJong

The colorful children’s book, Tiny Teak, transports its readers to an exotic village in India. The main character, Tiny Teak, fears he will never grow big and tall or have purpose in life. With the help of his encouraging grandmother, Nani Tree, Tiny Teak learns invaluable lessons of patience and self-esteem. Tiny Teak is inspired by the true story of a local missionary priest, Rev. Jerome Ziliak, SVD, who lived for fifty years among the Untouchables of India and at times worked alongside Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta. On his research farm Father Jerry not only started a teak wood forest but also developed and taught sustainable farming methods. This multicultural book is written for children ages three to eight and easily sparks interest and conversation.

Co-authored by Amazon best-selling author, Mary Ellen Ziliak, and longtime pre-school director/teacher, Lucy Ziliak Will, the story is both entertaining and educational. A helpful glossary of “New Words of India” is included.

Illustrations are the work of  celebrated artist, Joan Dewig deJong. A well-known piece of her art is The Screaming Eagle sculpture at the University of Southern Indiana and appears in many campus photos.

From Acorns to Oaks: A Century of West Side Nut Club Fall Festivals and Philanthropy by local author Mary Ellen Ziliak

From Acorns to Oaks is a feel-good read that will lift your spirits and give you hope in the strength of community. Learn how the simple beginnings of a small business group in 1921 led to the donation of millions of dollars towards civic needs. The West Side Nut Club of Evansville, Indiana has proven, “From small acorns large oaks grow.”

The crossroads of America has seen decades of generosity and camaraderie. Read the historical account or let the pictures show you the riveting story of how it all happened in From Acorns to Oaks: A Century of West Side Nut Club Fall Festivals and Philanthropy.

For Mary Ellen Ziliak, weaving the rich history of the West Side Nut Club into a book was not only a good fit, but a true honor. She has been a lifelong resident of the Evansville, Indiana area. Her brother and uncle were Nut Club members and regaled interesting stories of friendship and hard work. They taught her about Nut Club fellowship, commitment, and community service.

Writing nonfiction is a passion for Mary Ellen, the Amazon best-selling author of MS: Beyond the Red Door. As a retired RN, she writes from her rural home on Z-Lake in Evansville with the support of her husband, Roger, and cat Zorro.

Both books will be available for purchase at the event.