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Event raises money for books

POSTED: October 19, 2011 4:00 a.m.

Friends of Chestatee collected more than $6,000 for WEE Books earlier this month.

Chestatee community members celebrated a magical, musical night Oct. 8 by sponsoring a fundraiser for the Dawson County WEE Books Program.

The night included barbecue pork from Jim and Colleen Moore, musical entertainment with Patty Gravitt and a magic show by Michael Boone, who has trained with David Copperfield and performs in Las Vegas.

Sheila Hickey and Friends of Chestatee organized the event which grossed $6,000 in donations to help fund the free, age appropriate books that WEE Books mails each month to pre-schoolers enrolled in the program. The books are from Dolly Parton's Imagination Library.

Throughout these tough economic times all non-profits, such as WEE Books have had to think outside the box to maintain funding sources as grants and gifts become smaller and less available.

Organizers said the event came at a critical time and will allow WEE Books to continue to grow the numbers of kids enrolled.

Reaching nearly half of the 1,275 preschool children in Dawson County, WEE Books encourages children not just to be better readers, but also early learners who are ready for kindergarten and less likely to need remedial instruction.

Studies have shown that each dollar spent on early literacy programs saves around $17 in costs ranging from remedial tuition to incarceration, according to WEE Books.

WEE Books' next fundraiser will be its Second Annual Leap for Literacy into Lake Lanier on the third weekend in February 2012, followed by the group's fifth annual Barn Dance in the spring.

For more information, call (706) 216-0173.

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