The Literacy Council of Buncombe County will welcome bestselling author Ann Patchett as keynote speaker at its 10th Annual Authors for Literacy Dinner and Silent Auction on Friday, October 13, from 6–9 p.m. at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel.
Patchett, the author of seven bestselling novels including Bel Canto and The Patron Saint of Liars, joins a long line of distinguished authors who have headlined this event that raises funds for the Literacy Council’s programs. “We select New York Times bestselling authors in collaboration with our partner, Malaprop’s Bookstore and Café,” says development director LuAnn Arena. “Our featured authors are passionate about literacy and often have a connection to the region.”
Since 2011, Patchett has owned, along with business partner Karen Hayes, Parnassus Books in Nashville, and has become a spokesperson for independent booksellers. She was named as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time magazine in 2012. “Her passion for the written word is evident in all that she does,” Arena says.
The evening begins with a cocktail hour and silent auction for general admission guests. Items up for auction include fine art, ceramics, jewelry, Disney Park Hopper passes, autographed and rare books and a private catered dinner with a personal chef.
VIP pass-holders have the added benefit of a private reception with the author during the cocktail hour. The evening’s events for all include a three-course dinner, a presentation by a Literacy Council student and the keynote presentation followed by a book signing. Book sales will be managed by Malaprop’s Bookstore and Café.
“Besides being a principal fundraiser,” Arena says, “Authors for Literacy is also a vehicle to promote the Literacy Council’s mission: to increase comprehensive literacy and English language skills through specialized instruction by trained tutors and access to literacy resources.”
The Literacy Council of Buncombe County serves 350 students and more than 600 book recipients each year through four programs: Adult Education; English for Speakers of Other Languages; the Augustine Project, serving low-income children; and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. “We give opportunities to people who don’t believe they have a second chance to learn,” says Arena. “Our adult students use their new reading and English language skills to get better jobs, earn High School Equivalency diplomas, become United States citizens and support their children’s education. Our younger students and book recipients use their new literacy skills to succeed in school and enrich their lives through reading.”
The Renaissance Asheville Hotel is located at 31 Woodfin Street in downtown Asheville. General admission tickets are $75. A limited number of VIP tickets, $500 for two, are available. To learn more about the Literacy Council of Buncombe County or to purchase tickets, visit litcouncil.com or call 828.254.3442, ext. 206.