Conscious party: Author David Baldacci speaks at dinner and auction to bolster local literacy

BOOK BY BOOK: David Baldacci, author of 30 best-selling novels and counting, will speak at the Literacy Council of Buncombe County's 8th annual Authors for Literacy fundraising event three days after officially releasing his latest book The Keeper.
BOOK BY BOOK: David Baldacci, author of 30 best-selling novels and counting, will speak at the Literacy Council of Buncombe County's 8th annual Authors for Literacy fundraising event three days after officially releasing his latest book The Keeper. Photo by Alexander James

WHAT: Eighth annual Authors for Literacy dinner and auction

WHERE: Renaissance Asheville Hotel

WHEN: Friday, Sept. 11, 6-9 p.m.

WHY: “Authors for Literacy is our single largest fundraising event, but it also raises awareness about an issue that is often hidden from the public eye,” says Literacy Council of Buncombe County development director LuAnn Arena. “Most people do not realize that 10 percent of Buncombe County residents have below basic literacy skills.”

This year’s fundraising dinner — prepared by executive chef Michael Marshall of the Renaissance Hotel with pours from Biltmore Wines — will enable the Literacy Council to secure volunteer tutors for some 350 locals lacking reading, writing and language skills.

Local businesses like Posana, Table, Rhubarb, Red Stag Grill, Asheville Yoga Center and the Asheville Symphony plus artists Michael Kane and Jonas Gerard have all donated items to the event’s silent auction, which includes a live portion and a shot at a beach resort vacation.

The biggest attraction for many, though, will be a keynote speech by best-selling author David Baldacci, who has worked extensively to address the interconnected issues of illiteracy, poverty and hunger on a national scale. He’ll be signing copies of his just-released book The Keeper as well.

“We are thrilled to have an author of David Baldacci’s caliber and popularity,” Arena says. “He will help to bring awareness to a national issue and its local impact. Literacy is a tool that can help people rise out of poverty and get better-paying jobs to support their families. Literacy allows parents to read to their children. A lack of basic literacy skills affects not only the struggling reader, but everyone in the Buncombe County community regardless of age, race, gender or background.”

Tickets are $75 per person and can be purchased at litcouncil.com/authors2015.htm or by calling 254-3442. A mail-in registration form (to be submitted with check payment) is also available through the event website.

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About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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