perry county literacy council

Race for Reading

25th Race Logo.jpg


The 25th Annual Race for Race for Reading was a rousing success. Community events such as this come together because of the time, talents and hard work of many dedicated people. Our volunteer Race committee, which included Lane Partner, Pam Dobbs and Shari Weaver, Morgan Tressler, Audra Hunter, Linda Kutz, Patti McLaughlin, Lauren Kerlin, Ory Bower and Samantha Bise solicited over 125 silent auction items ranging from restaurant gift certificates, fine art, crafts, jewelry as well as many certificates for other goods and services. Diane Witcoski worked behind the scenes to gather many auction items, including some incredible live auction packages. PCLC is incredibly grateful to all of the local and area businesses and individuals who continue to overwhelm us with their generous financial contributions as well as their donations of goods and services each year.

Since the Race for Reading coincides each year with the Kentucky Derby, a Mint Julip Party was held at the beautiful home of Todd Saner, where 50 guests paid a premium to enjoy Mint Juleps prepared by Jeff and Shari Mattern and some festive appetizers.   

As attendees browsed the extensive array of silent auction items, Dave and Marie Morrison organized a 50/50 to bet on the winning horse from the Derby. Thanks to Chris and Kathy Deardorff, who loan us their big screen TVs each year and Tim and Marlene Atherton, who allow us to borrow their satellite dish, our guests can view the Kentucky Derby as it runs live at the event.

A record-breaking crowd of over 200 guests enjoyed a Mexican Fiesta catered by Leslie Heimbaugh which included appetizers such as carnitas, stuffed jalapenos, hot corn dip with handmade tortilla chips and more. A Cinco de Mayo-inspired dinner included chicken and beef fajitas, grilled onions and peppers with homemade salsa and guacamole on the side, Puerto Rican Rice and Cowboy Caviar salad. Riverbend Hop Farm and Brewery donated two amazing beers, which were complimented by a selection of beers donated by Newport Beverage and wine donated by Anne and Roger Chappelka. Classic Drycleaners donated ten cases of water. Donations for beverages topped over $1,000. Dessert featuring eight varieties of cupcakes rounded out the meal.

The volunteer kitchen staff work hard each year to make sure that we keep our guests happy. Many thanks to our incredible dishwasher, Dawn Beaver. She likes to quip that there’s nothing that “Double Dawn” can’t handle – that is, she and Dawn dish soap. The rest of the kitchen crew includes: Carol Moyer, Peggy McNaughton, Lindsey Wilson, Maddie Wilson, Hayley Lesh, Jake Heimbaugh, Rosina Shipman, Rachel Beaver, Chase Stalvey, Iris Peters, Liam Moyer. On the grills, we were lucky to have the master grilling skills of Tim Heimbaugh, Rodney Bower and Kelsey Heimbaugh. Finally, this year we were fortunate to have the volunteer chopping skills of Charity Stowell and Sara Beck. All of these “behind the scenes” helpers work for nothing more than dinner and we couldn’t do this without them.

After dinner, Rep. Mark Keller, who has been our auctioneer for many years, playfully coaxed live auction bidders into placing higher bids to support the work of PCLC. As a result of Rep. Keller’s gentle chiding and our high-quality donations, the live auction raised over $11,700.

The tally for the campaign leading up to the Race, and the event itself are over $62,000 and the number is still rising.

(All Race for Reading photos by Linda Kutz.)