A little rain couldn't dampen the spirits of those gathered at Kinsey Family Farm on Saturday for a boot stompin' hoedown benefiting Dawson County Wee Books.
Children's games and a large open barn greeted guests at the 10th annual Barn Dance. Attendees wore their best western attire and came ready for food, fun and dancing.
A dessert and Japanese Maple tree auction followed a dinner of Jim ‘N Nicks BBQ, along with a raffle in which participants won baskets and gift cards.
After everyone had eaten, dancing kicked off with a square dance instructor, who had attendees form a large circle to learn moves before branching off into smaller squares.
Proceeds from the fundraiser at the Cumming farm will help the program in its efforts to put age-appropriate books in the hands of children. The group mails one free book every month to each enrolled Dawson County child, who are eligible from birth, until they reach kindergarten.
The program is made possible by a partnership with the Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy and the WEE Books Community Action Team.
With over 850 children signed up to receive the books, Wee Books has its work cut out for it this year. The fundraiser was especially important this year as the group had to cancel its other annual event, Leap for Literacy, due to low lake levels.
Wee Books President Sue Poynter said Monday that she was grateful for the support the group received in light of the Leap's cancellation.
"I can't thank our donors and sponsors enough for the generosity, not just for this event, but for the past 10 years of support by so many in the community," Poynter said. "I also want to thank all the members of the Wee Books Community Action Team for their work for this event and for the children."
Poynter said the Barn Dance raised over $9,500.
"The Barn Dance was a tremendous success. Wee Books is so grateful to our donors and attendees who made it possible for us to raise [the money].This is reflective of the generosity and support of our community for the littlest citizens in our county," Poynter said. "Childhood literacy is increasingly recognized as one of the most important keys to a child's success in school."