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Annual Read-A-Palooza announced

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Read Aloud West Virginia will hold Read-A-Palooza at Paterno's at the Park with food, drinks, music and a silent auction.

"Connecting the Dots" is this year's theme to emphasize the importance of reading in all segments of society.

The party is set for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 24 at Paterno's, 601 Morris St. in Charleston.

The annual event offers a chance to have fun while raising money for a good cause.

"It's critical," Mary Kay Bond, executive director, said of the fundraiser. "The money we raise helps fund all of our programs. We depend on donations, corporate support and foundations to continue our work in 23 counties."

While dedicated sponsors have been generous, more funds are needed as programs grow.

"People have been loyal and we are very grateful," she said. "Nonprofits are struggling as a whole. We try to do a lot with a little."

She added that Energy Corp. of America has offered a challenge grant offering $50,000 if the organization can raise $25,000 by the end of the year.  

Read Aloud West Virginia has several programs to promote the love of literature. 

Volunteer readers are trained to take the love of reading to classrooms, day care centers and after-school programs.

Reading Roundup puts an age-appropriate book, library card application, Read Aloud pamphlet and a recommended reading list in the hands of children who register for kindergarten in Kanawha County. For some children, the gift of a book is something they have never had.

Food for Thought provides inexpensive new books to several elementary schools each year. The books sell for $1 each at a book fair in January. Schools are chosen based on their proportion of low-income students, enrollment and specific needs. Each school receives 10 copies of 50 titles and reimburses Read Aloud $250 to use them for the following year's program.

The March 24 event will include finger foods as well as beer, wine and soda. Music will be by Band Wagon. Among items to be auctioned are getaways, a golf bag, dinners, a car tune up, art, jewelry and assorted other goodies from area businesses. More sponsors are coming on board with an assortment of appealing auction items.

Major sponsors for the event include BrickStreet Insurance, Capitol Conference Center, Moses Automotive, Paterno's at the Park, Appalachian Power and the Higher Education Policy Commission.

Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the door. For more information, go to www.readaloudwestvirginia.org or call 304-345-5212.


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