RDCK Area C and B directors Larry Binks (left) and John Kettle took to the streets last week to raise funds for the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy Creston chapter. They each made $500 grant-in-aid donations as well.

RDCK Area C and B directors Larry Binks (left) and John Kettle took to the streets last week to raise funds for the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy Creston chapter. They each made $500 grant-in-aid donations as well.

Creston Valley Reach-A-Reader campaign nets $1,800

Web Lead

  • Oct. 17, 2012 10:00 a.m.

The Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) and Black Press second annual Reach-A-Reader literacy awareness and fundraising campaigns held throughout the region were a ‘runaway success’ say organizers.

Volunteers throughout the Columbia Basin and Boundary region, from young hockey players to longtime literacy supporters, to Black Press and CBAL staff, worked together to raise funds for their local community literacy programs, trading newspapers for donations.

“Our second Reach-A-Reader fundraiser was a tremendous success,” said Creston Valley Advance publisher Lorne Eckersley. “Special thanks go to RDCK Area C director Larry Binks who voluntarily stepped forward to commit a $500 grant-in-aid. When Area B director John Kettle readily agreed to match that amount, we know we were off and running.”

Creston CBAL co-ordinator Linda Steward said she was thrilled with the generosity of donors and the commitment of volunteers who donated their time (and, often, money) to the cause.

In Creston, volunteers included Mayor Ron Toyota; Couns. Wesly Graham, Scott Veitch and Joanna Wilson; Binks and Kettle; Hugh Grant and Eileen Delman of Kootenay Employment Services; CBAL volunteers; CBAL 2012 Community Literacy Award winner Ann Day and a half-dozen members of the Creston Valley Thunder Cats.

“This was my first Reach-A-Reader event as the Greater Trail Area literacy co-ordinator, and I am so amazed at the community involvement from Fruitvale, to Trail, to Rossland,” said Tiffaney Thompson.

“CBAL is such a great community resource,” said Katie Albright, Rossland’s new library director and a first-time volunteer. “As a librarian, I am very appreciative of how their programs for adults and children foster literacy in Rossland. Today’s fundraiser will enable their crucial programs to grow and flourish.”

“We were amazed at the run-away success of our second annual Reach-A-Reader event,” said Ali Wassing, CBAL executive director. “CBAL delivers over 230 programs to over 7,000 learners in the 77 communities we serve. Funds from this event play a key role in building on this commitment. The support of Black Press is invaluable, and we are grateful.”

To learn more about CBAL and the programs in your community visit http://www.cbal.org.


How did CBAL do around the Kootenays?

“In total, we made around $1100 dollars – enough to run our Hosmer Family Literacy Program. TD Canada Trust donated $500. I really appreciated working with the Free Press.  They have been very supportive, and have given us tons of publicity, beyond the Reach a Reader campaign.  I have seen an increase in attendance at things like Adult Tutor Training as a result of this partnership.”


Tracy Spannier, Revelstoke community literacy co-ordinator

“We are deeply touched by the efforts of our volunteers and the generosity of the citizen of Revelstoke to support community literacy programs.”


“Our volunteers were amazing, raising just over $1800 in four hours. “We had folks from Rotary, the police, the RCMP, firefighters, city council and the Mayor, the Nelson Star and the library. It was wonderful to hear our volunteers telling people about literacy programs they can access and then to have people put their names forward as volunteers.”


“We had a fun day in Cranbrook. While we were missing some of our star volunteers from last year new volunteers came on board including members of the Kootenay Ice and learners from our community programs. Councillor Denise Palleson was this year’s star raising over $500.”


“Reach-A-Reader in Grand Forks was a fabulous success with our Border Bruins team and City Councillors all participating to raise awareness about literacy in our region.

We raised over $700 that will be put towards important family and adult literacy programs.”


“Our 2nd Annual event was very successful. We raised $939.82 thanks to gracious donations from community members.  This would not have been possible without the support of our volunteers and the Castlegar News”.