Putting the Fun Back in Fundraising

Last night Behind the Book successfully hosted its Fourth Annual Benefit at the William Bennett Gallery in SoHo. There were drinks! Hors d’oeuvres (which, incidentally, were the only food in a five block radius)! Literary celebrities! Budding writers! Brilliant teachers! Enticing auction items! A good cause! And, perhaps most crucially, people willing to part with their money to support the cause.

Fourth Annual Benefit

Executive Director Jo Umans addresses the attendees

Zetta Elliott and Barbara Korein at the Fourth Annual Benefit

Behind the Book author Zetta Elliott talks to a guest

Rita Williams-García and Sandra Payne at the Fourth Annual Benefit

Sandra Payne talks with Rita Williams-García

Fourth Annual Benefit

Guests peruse silent auction items

Sass aside, all of us at Behind the Book would like sincerely to thank everybody in attendance, and particularly those whose generosity will help facilitate more and better programming at increasingly strained public-schools. We hope everyone left with the same sense of inspiration we did after hearing Randy Cohen’s impassioned defense of reading, Ray Pultinas’ striking poem about the teacher’s challenge, and the winning stories of our Do The Right Thing Writing Contest sponsored by Spike Lee.

Randy Cohen at the Fourth Annual Benefit

Special Guest Randy Cohen, the New York Times Ethicist, reads from The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

Ray Pultinas at Fourth Annual Benefit

Executive Director Jo Umans with Ray Pultinas, recipient of our first ever Creating Readers for Life Award for his work with us at DeWitt Clinton High School

Writing Contest winner Monserrat Díaz at the Fourth Annual Benefit

Our Elementary School writing contest winner, PS 376 5th grader Monserrat Díaz, enthralled the audience with an excellent dramatic reading of her story, "Jenny's Big Decision"

Writing contest winner Cristina Santos and family at the Fourth Annual Benefit

High School writing contest winner Cristina Santos, student at CHAH (Community Health Academy of the Heights) with her family

Thank you all so much for your support and involvement. We are, after all, in this to do the right thing.


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