Book festival’s charity dinner for literacy, keynote by best-selling author Dean Hughes

Author Dean Hughes gives the keynote address to the Literacy Charity Dinner in St. George on Oct. 24, 2014, location and date of photo not specified | Publicity photo courtesy of the St. George Book Festival, St. George News

ST. GEORGE—The St. George Book Festival will host its 2nd annual Literacy Charity Dinner on Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. in the upstairs banquet hall of the St. George Children’s Museum, 86 South Main Street, St. George. Jon Pike, mayor of St. George, and his wife, Kristy, will join a group of 12 successful authors for an intimate dinner and an evening of poignant conversation to raise literacy awareness and promote the arts in the City of St. George and Washington County.

“The dinner is to help promote and support literacy in St. George and net proceeds to to benefit the St. George Children’s Museum and Washington County School District. We will be giving each group a check that night,” said author Virginia S. Grenier, director of the St. George Book Festival. “This is our second year doing the Literacy Charity Dinner and we feel, outside the big Book Expo on Saturday, Oct. 25th, this is the most important venue of the festival as it helps support our community, the arts and literacy.”

Everyone is invited to attend the dinner and enjoy the keynote speaker, best-selling author Dean Hughes, who has published more than 100 books. Hughes will be speaking on a topic relevant in today’s environment of Instagram, texting, Twitter, and YouTube, “What Do We Need Books for Anyway?”

“From what I know from other festivals I’ve attended, no other festival in Utah or in the United States does this,” Grenier said. “Each author in attendance is seated with six dinner guests so they can meet and talk with the their guest author throughout the night. We have one keynote speaker for the night and it is a fun way to get to know authors in a small setting while supporting two worthy causes.”

According to Central Georgia College, an estimated 30 million people over the age of 16 in the United States read no better than the average elementary school child. Worldwide, nearly 800 million adults are illiterate in their native languages; two-thirds of them are women. Yet the ability to read and write is the basis for all other education; literacy is necessary for an individual to understand information, whether written or verbal. Literacy is essential if we are to eradicate poverty at home and abroad, improve infant mortality rates, address gender inequality, and create sustainable development. Without literacy skills – the abilities to read, to write, to do math, to solve problems, and to access and use technology – today’s adults will struggle to take part in the world around them and fail to reach their full potential as parents, community members, and employees.

It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading,” said award-winning author Katherine Patterson. “Something that will stretch their imaginations – something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own.

Southern Utah is home to many published authors working to provide something worth reading to young and old alike.

Mark your calendar for Friday, Oct. 24, at 6 p.m. for this wonderful night of discussion.

Some of the authors who will be attending the second annual Literacy Charity Dinner include: Dan Willis, J.R. Johansson, Mikey Brooks, L.K. Hill, Jaclyn Weist, Johnny Worthen, Dominick Domingo, Carolyn Howard-Johnson, M. Bridget Cook, Teri Harman, Joyce Kohler, David W. Smith, VS Grenier, Lin Floyd, and Dawn McLain.

The menu includes tuscany chicken with mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes, sliced garlic and black pepper beef brisket, diced oven roasted potatoes with onions and red bell peppers, festive garden salad, sparkling apple cider, sugar cookies and spice cake with whipped cream frosting and a caramel drizzle.

Event details and resources

  • What: Charity literacy dinner
  • When: Oct. 24 at 6 p.m.
  • Where: Upstairs banquet hall of the St. George Children’s Museum, 86 South Main Street, St. George, Utah
  • Tickets available online | $40 per adult, $25 per child 17 years and under
  • More information available at the St. George Book Festival website

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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