Stokes Partnership for Children (SPC) recently held their annual BBQ for Books event and raised $23,000 to purchase new books and fund early literacy programs throughout the county.
“The event went really well, better than expected,” said Stokes Partnership for Children, Executive Director Cindy Tuttle. “We changed our format similar to the way we did it back when we first started, with the dine-in/take out option on the BBQ. We also changed it back to a Friday night so that folks could stop by on their way home from work and grab some food or stay with us awhile.”
Tuttle said they also added a “side of bluegrass” to spice it up a bit.
“I think we may make this a bluegrass destination in the years to come. We were able to be listed on the Blue Ridge Music Trails this year,” she said.
In the past, the event has been hosted a number of ways, from folks picking up dinner at the SCP office to evenings at an upscale venue, but Tuttle believes the non-profit has found their happy medium.
“We didn’t pay for an expensive venue or expensive auctioneer. We did away with the live auction other than Fund-A-Need and put all our effort into the silent auction. We’ve gotten the reputation of having fabulous and unique auction items. We have fun putting them together and our board and committee really gets involved. Most importantly our sponsorship from businesses and individuals keep growing and growing. Folks like having their name associated with the event.”
The fundraiser continues to be an important role primarily to raise funds for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and Reach Out and Read.
“Early literacy skills are the foundation for school success. We want to put books into the hands of every child under the age of five. We want to support parents in their efforts to prepare their children for school success. Also, research proves that when a family reads together it is a nurturing and bonding time, drawing family’s closer together,” Tuttle said.
Currently, SPC is providing around 1,000 books to children in the county through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and serving about 50 percent of the eligible children.
“Our goal is to raise money so that 100 percent of the eligible children can receive books. We’re grateful to the N.C. Legislature for seeing the value in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and grateful that they have appropriated funds for this. Since we can’t supplant existing funds with state dollars, we will have to continue to raise funds as in the past, but their support will definitely help us pay for more children to receive these books.”
Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.