Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fox Cities P.A.C. Teams Up with Local Libraries to Give the Gift of Reading

APPLETON, WI (October 19, 2009) - The "Season's Reading: Give-a-Kid-a-Book" campaign is a longtime tradition in the Fox Cities. This year, participating organizations are collaborating to reach a wider audience to collect new children's books and donate them for holiday giving.

Donors will help to place the gift of a book in the homes of more than 1,000 Fox Cities families in need by giving a new, unwrapped book suitable for children through age twelve at the Appleton Public Library, the Neenah Public Library, the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center during Nebraska Theatre Caravan's A Christmas Carol on Tuesday, December 15 or at the Holiday Pops concert of the Fox Valley Symphony on Saturday, December 12. From the collection sites, the books will be given to The Salvation Army of the Fox Cities and the Boys & Girls Brigade of the Fox Valley and Boys & Girls Club Fox Valley for distribution through their Christmas Giving programs.

The goals of the initiative are to provide a gift that families can enjoy and appreciate together, to demonstrate the community's commitment to reading and to help children gain an appreciation of books and reading.

The Appleton Public Library kicks off its Give-a-Kid-a-Book collection on Monday, November 2. From then through December 12, people can bring new, donated books to the library or make a cash donation (made out to the Friends of Appleton Library – Give a Kid a Book). Spokesperson Michael Kenney says, "We are thrilled to extend our ability to get books in the hands of children in need through the additional collaboration with Neenah's wonderful library and especially making new connections with an even broader audience by virtue of book donations at holiday performances of the Fox Valley Symphony and Nebraska Theatre Caravan's A Christmas Carol at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. Many kids will have a brighter holiday because of this expanded outreach effort!"

The Neenah Public Library's book campaign also runs from Monday, November 2 through Saturday, December 12. School groups, community organizations, individuals and families are invited to bring their new, unwrapped books to the library's youth department. Some school groups make an event of their participation, with students collecting money, going on a buying trip to a bookstore to select books they think other children will like, then bringing the books to the library and celebrating with a pizza lunch. "This has been a long tradition at the Neenah Library," says youth manager Patricia Hewitt-McNichols, "and we're so pleased to connect with the other groups to raise awareness about this fabulous program. It makes so much sense for us all to work together."

Patrons and school children attending the Fox Valley Symphony's Holiday Pops concert on Saturday, December 12 at Pickard Auditorium in Neenah will be encouraged to bring their new book donations to the event. Holiday story-telling, a time-honored tradition, sets the stage for the Symphony's musical presentation of award-winning Uncle Mugsy and the Terrible Twins of Christmas, the Nutcracker, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas and other holiday stories. Dancers and solo voices from Neenah's Valley Academy of the Arts and Badger State Girl Choir will be featured in this theatrical concert that also includes actors and pages from storybooks projected over the stage. "As a performing arts organization we naturally reach thousands of people with our concert advertising. The opportunity to promote the book drive as part of our Holiday Pops concert means that awareness in the entire community will be raised and everyone benefits," said Marta Weldon, Executive Director of the Fox Valley Symphony. Tickets for the Holiday Pops concert are available by phone (920) 968-0300, ext. 23 or online at foxvalleysymphony.com.

The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will collect books for Give-a-Kid-a-Book during its presentation of Nebraska Theatre Caravan's A Christmas Carol on Tuesday, December 15. A holiday tradition in its own right, Nebraska Theatre Caravan's A Christmas Carol captures the spirit of the season onstage. A drop box will be located inside the Center's ticket office beginning at 10:00 a.m. and inside the lobby prior to the performance. Doors open for the performance at 6:30 p.m., and tickets are available in person at the Center's ticket office, by phone at (920) 730-3760 or online at foxcitiespac.com. Maria Van Laanen, Vice President of Communications and External Relations at the Fox Cities P.A.C., notes, "This is the first time we've been involved in this holiday giving campaign, but it's consistent with the ways we want to reach out to be part of the community. I think many who attend Nebraska Theatre Caravan's A Christmas Carol will be eager to share in the holiday spirit by donating to Give-a-Kid-a-Book."

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The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, located in downtown Appleton, provides a premier venue for live performing arts. The Center proudly serves as a gathering place for the community to engage in educational opportunities while enhancing a greater understanding and appreciation of the live performing arts. For more information on upcoming events, education programs and community involvement go to The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center – Where the Arts Come Alive!


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