December 7, 2009
LEWISBURG, PA—With all of the activity during the busy Lewisburg late shoppers’ night and Victorian Holiday Parade this past weekend, it might have been easy to overlook the person sitting and reading a book in the window of the Page After Page Bookstore on Market Street. Fortunately for the Donald L. Heiter Center, that wasn’t the case as the 24 hour reading marathon raised over $3000.00 for the center’s many programs involving children and education.
Fifty one readers and twenty-one volunteers assisted in the inaugural fund raiser that was part of the holiday festivities in downtown Lewisburg. Readers solicited donations to sponsor a fifteen minute time slot during which they read a favorite passage from a book or poem. Loudspeakers broadcast the live readings onto the sidewalk outside the bookstore on Market Street, drawing the attention of shoppers starting on Friday afternoon at 3:00 pm and finishing 24 hours later after the festive holiday parade. Fittingly, Santa Claus had the last word as the last reader of the day.
“We were really pleased with the response”, said Polly Doyle, who along with Jane Amacher, co-chaired the event for the center, located at 100 N. Fifth Street in Lewisburg. “We thought it would be a fun way to raise some much needed funds for the center while focusing on literacy”, commented Doyle. “Everybody really seemed to enjoy it, especially those who sat and read”, she added.
Doyle said that Page After Page owner Murrie Zlotziver was the impetus for the idea when he offered the use of his window. Readers covered all age groups from elementary school children, to Bucknell University students to senior citizens.
Amacher said that the Center would like to thank all of those that participated. “It was a real community effort”, commented Amacher, “and that’s what we’re about!”
The Pi Beta Phi sorority at Bucknell assisted with the event by providing readers during the day and late night hours. Doyle and Amacher both of whom are members of the board of directors of the Heiter Center, agree that the event will grow in popularity next year.
The Donald Heiter Community Center served 4500 individuals last year through its various programs that reach out to individuals in a five county area and a population base well in excess of 30,000 people. The popular after school program serves between 88 and 111 children ages 5 to 13 in addition to adult classes, summer day camp and annual programs such as “Yellow Dress”.