Conway Bookcase project reaches more than 300 children

Ben Hughey, a tenth-grader at Conway High School-East, refills drinks at the Conway Bookcase Project banquet and annual fundraiser. Twenty-five students volunteered to serve at the event, which would generate funds to award personalized bookcases and starter libraries to 50 children. COURTNEY SPRADLIN PHOTO

Supporters of the Conway Bookcase Project’s mission, and fans of the Ward Family Singers and Friends, attended a banquet fundraiser Thursday night at Bob Courtway Middle School.

Funds generated from the sold-out event will be used to construct personalized bookcases for 50 children in the local Head Start program and the Conway Housing Authority.

In its sixth year, the group has issued bookcases to 300 children, containing a starter library of new or gently used books. 

“With the money we raise at the banquet, we’ll give 50 more,” Jim Davidson, founder, said.

Attendees of the banquet were served a meal by student congress members of the 10th-grade class at Conway High School-East.

Entertainment was provided by the Ward Family Singers and Friends, and former Senator Stanley Russ acted as the night’s emcee. 

“This is a really efficient operation. We have no tax money, no expenses, salaries, or rent. This is a literacy program that gives back,” Davidson said. “The money raised stays in the community and only $3.95 will be designated as seed money to assist other communities in starting up their own bookcase project.”

Davidson said attendees represented elected officials, banks, learning institutions, political candidates, business leaders, students, supporters and “just about every part of the community.”
“There’s no common thread,” Davidson said. “The supporters are so autonomous and the project is broad in scope. This is the largest crowd we’ve had.”

Banquet-goers brought books to be used to fill upcoming libraries for the bookcases, set to be given to 50 children in April of next year.

(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by e-mail at courtney.spradlin@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)

 

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