Chaired by San Antonio Public Library Foundation (SAPLF) Board Member, Kim Gillum, the San Antonio Express-News Children’s Book Celebration was another huge success both as a friend-raiser and a fundraiser. Thanks to our major sponsors: The Express-News, Holt Companies/Juliana Hawn & Peter M. Holt and The USAA Foundation the event netted over $59,000. The most ever raised in the six years the Foundation has held the Children’s Book Celebration.
Co-chairs Terry Scott Bertling and Steve Bennett, from the Express-News, secured top-notch children and teen literary writers/illustrators to participate adding to the event’s success. The Library Foundation is grateful to the participating writers who traveled to San Antonio and gave so generously of their time and talents (pro-bono). Many thanks to: Diane Stanley who talked about her picture book biographies of historical and literary figures; author/illustrator Roxie Munro whose books depict life on the Texas prairie; Elaine Scott who revealed behind-the-scenes stories about how things work; Tim McKenzie writer and musician who played his guitar while telling the story of Baxter Brown; former Catholic priest, Benjamin Alire Sáenz who read from his book The Dog Who Loved Tortillas; and Austin writer April Lurie who spoke about her love of writing for teenagers.
At the event, over 300 kids ages five to early teens and their chaperones had the opportunity to meet these authors and illustrators, hear their presentations, have books autographed and participate in book-related craft activities organized by Viki Ash, San Antonio Public Library Children’s Services Coordinator, and overseen by the children’s librarians. The poplar craft area would not have been possible without the librarians who volunteered to help.
The Foundation was once again fortunate to have Barbara B. Gentry, The USAA Foundation President, to act as our mistress of ceremonies. Not only does Barbara keep us on task, she was an underwriter including a couple of tables for members from the Wounded Warriors military group. USAA also provided us with some great employee volunteers and their family members.
SAPLF Board member Mike Molak with PlainsCapital Bank, underwrote the cost of hosting our two adopted schools who attended. Students and chaperones from James Madison Elementary and Ferdinand Herff Elementary had a great literary experience and they all left with a new book. Thanks to principals Barbara Black and Thomasine Chambers for getting their students there and for their support.
Funds raised are directed to the Library Foundation’s Born to Read initiative, which gives a set of books (one bilingual), a book bag, a library card application, and other literacy-supporting items to almost every baby born in Bexar County. This event is made possible through the generous major sponsorships provided by: Tom Stephenson/The San Antonio Express-News, Holt Companies/Juliana Hawn & Peter M. Holt, The USAA Foundation, Barbara B. Gentry, Berridge Manufacturing, Co., Sheila & Wayne Wright, Lori & Mark Wright, PlainsCapital Bank, Pat & Bob Flynn, Barnes & Noble, Grand Hyatt San Antonio, Ricos Products Company, Inc., Joan Cheever and Dennis Quinn.