Our first celebration to thank all that are involved in our cause was on November 15th. We loved meeting new and familiar faces and having you all together in one room. Yahara Bay Distillery hosted the community event for volunteers, teachers, social workers, board members, staff and supporters. We enjoyed delicious food, cake and drinks from sponsors, El Dorado Grill and Craig's Cakes.
Carrie Castree, and I were able to go over some highlights of the year and also again thank everyone for all of their help, book donations, volunteer hours, social media posts, kindness, hugs, high fives, meetings, and so much more. We attempted not to make it an Oscar style speech and thank every individual, but the reason we wanted to highlight this, is that so many people have helped along the way.
We are thrilled to announce that we are on track to double our year end goal. Instead of giving 5000 books, we will attempt to distribute 10,000 books! Next year we have an ambitious goal again, 25,0000 books. This means we'll need you to roll up your sleeves again to make an even greater impact on children and families in our community.
Miss Wisconsin, Courtney Pelot, joined us at our literacy event. She is a champion of childhood literacy for all Wisconsin children. We loved having Courtney join us for the fun night, meeting our attendees and helping with our awards. Four awards were given to highlight some of the kindness and dedication that has happened this year. Awardees were; Joanne Berg- Mystery To Me Books, Liz and Dick Askey, Kayla Barnes Patrick, and Jan and Bill DeAtley.
Araceli Esparza read her poetry at the event and shared why she is a champion on our cause and diverse books. Araceli writes bilingual-bicultural picture books and poetry. She is a graduate of Hamline's MFA in Children's Literature.
Last but not least, Jenny Staebell, our fundraising coordinator announced the winners of our community reading game, Read Like Mad. Please check our other blog post for a full description of the game, generous sponsors and the amazing winners and players for 2016. Congratulations to the winners and thank you from us for championing our cause.