The Katie Turney Memorial Book Fund has allowed Durant High School to purchase nearly 1,000 hardcover fiction books.

The Katie Turney Memorial Book Fund was established after 16-year-old Durant High School student Katie Turney died unexpectedly in 2013. This year, Katie’s parents are making their annual donation to Durant High School’s school librarian and principal in their daughter’s memory, 10 years after her death.

“Her mother and I established the Katie Turney Memorial Book Fund … through the generosity of family and friends in 2014,” father Joe Turney said. “Because it was inspired by Katie’s love of books and reading, the fund is used to purchase new young adult fiction books, which are plated and placed in the Durant High School library.”

On August 17, Joe and Angie Mosier, Katie’s mother, personally delivered their $3,000 donation to Principal Gary Graham and media specialist Diana Rasmussen.

Over the past nine years, the Katie Turney Memorial Book Fund has donated almost $16,000, allowing Durant to purchase over 900 hardbound young adult fiction books for its students.

“They buy the highest-quality leather-bound books so that they last longer. The librarian is always given the option to use the funds where needed but is aware that our preference would be young adult fiction. We’ve purchased so many books that Durant is now able to lend books to other schools, as their space is limited,” Mosier said.

Katie enjoyed young adult fiction books, specifically dystopian and postapocalyptic fiction. In memory of Katie, Durant purchases books in the fiction genre for its students. A memoriam plate is also placed on the inside of the front cover of each book that the Memorial Book Fund allows Durant to purchase.

“Each year, the librarian and principal have gone out of their way to meet with us personally to accept the check. Sometimes, teachers have been present to show their gratitude, and we’ve received letters from students thanking us for the donations,” Mosier said.

The Katie Turney Memorial Book Fund is a nonprofit organization with, an organization that donates to programs that promote literacy and fights hunger.

For more information on the nonprofit, visit its website at To contact the Katie Turney Memorial Book Fund, email Mosier at

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Lily Belcher
Lily Belcher is a writer for the Osprey Observer. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey Observer since completing her internship. Lily is majoring in mass communications at the University of South Florida and is a staff writer for the university’s paper, The Oracle. She enjoys writing about local nonprofit organizations and community role models who have made an impact on her hometown.