Creating New Chapters for Students
Writer / Suzanne Huntzinger
Photographer / Brian Brosmer
Some avid readers can’t resist skipping to the end of a good book because they’re impatient and can’t handle the suspense. The Christamore House Guild hears you and they’ve revealed their picks for their annual Book and Author Benefit Luncheon to be held at the Indiana Roof Ballroom on Friday, April 21 from 10 to 2 p.m.
Plenty of mystery, intrigue, suspense and even some tears abound in this year’s picks. They include, “A Piece of the World” by Christina Baker Kline, “Always” by Sarah Jio, “The Cutaway” by Christina Kovac, “The Original Ginny Moon” by Benjamin Ludwig, “Music of the Ghosts” by Vaddey Ratner, and “Beyond Words” by Becky and Steve Schenck. Book fans will recognize Sarah Jio, Christina Baker Kline and Vaddey Ratner from the New York Times Best-selling authors list. “Beyond Words” will touch the hearts of all readers as Becky and Steve Schenck take you through Becky’s emotional journey with terminal brain cancer. Becky Schenck is the former Christamore House president for whom the Christamore House’s Early Learning Center is named.
A crowd of around 800 is expected at the 37th annual event, which the Guild says traditionally ushers in the start of Spring. It’s still the Guild’s largest fundraiser and a big hit for guests who are always anxious to preview and purchase the new reads and listen to each author share their personal account of their new release.
The Guild spends the better part of a year reading a long list of new releases and reveals its selections usually early in the year. In the past, many selections have been by new authors, some have been local selections and some authors have been invited more than once.
“We like to say that we had a hand in making the authors famous,” says Ann Fritton, Book and Author Luncheon co-chair. “I’m not sure if it’s true, but we do give these authors a great opportunity to promote their new books.”
Mary Higgins Clark, Sue Monk Kidd, David Baldacci, and even John Grisham were all featured at the Christamore House Guild Book and Author Luncheon in past years and no doubt got a leg up by their participation in the event.
The chosen authors undeniably benefit from the exposure at the luncheon. Even more importantly, the funds raised by the event change the lives of some very special students.
“The luncheon allows us to raise funds so we can offer financial assistance via scholarships to outstanding candidates and support the Early Childhood and after school programs at the House,” says Jennifer Mitchell, Christamore House Guild President.
Since 1905, the Christamore House has been a beacon of light for students and families in the Haughville neighborhood on Indy’s west side.
“Christamore House is a historic landmark,” Mitchell says. “We reach out to the surrounding neighborhood in so many ways.”
Christamore House offers The Becky Schenck Early Childhood Education Center, Postsecondary Readiness and Enrollment Program (PREP), Leap and Stem, summer camps and even senior programs. These programs make it possible for community residents to send their children to a safe Early Learning facility, a place to learn and discover after school, and a place for guidance for students who need help planning their futures.
Former scholarship recipient La’Toya Pitts knows firsthand how Christamore’s programs change lives. Pitts grew up in the Haughville neighborhood and spent many years participating in Christamore’s after school programs and summer camps. Thanks to the generous financial scholarship from Christamore House Guild, she went on to earn her degree in Business Management from Indiana State University and later completed her MBA.
But graduation wasn’t mission accomplished for Pitts. She decided to give back to the organization that gave so much to her. Pitts returned to Christamore after graduation to donate her time. Now, Pitts is the Deputy Director of Youth Services.
“Being a Guild Scholarship recipient played an important part of my college career,” Pitts says. “Receiving the scholarship allowed me the opportunity to focus on my post- secondary education at a time when many youth from the Haughville Community were not attending college because of the financial burden it presented. Without the added pressure of where the money would come from for college, I could excel in undergrad and eventually move on to receive my MBA.”
You too can help enrich the lives of many more youth by attending the benefit luncheon.
Tickets for the event are already available. Individual tickets are $85, and regular and premium tables are available for $850 and $1,750 respectively.
New this year is the Sponsorship of an Author’s Circle table. Five Author’s Circle Sponsorships tables are available, giving guests the opportunity to meet and sit with their favorite author and hear all about the book. The Author’s Circle Sponsorship of $3,500 gives you eight tickets to your table, eight signed copies of the author’s book, recognition in the event program and more.
Tickets sell out quickly. To get yours, go to christamoreguild.org where you can find more information on the event, sponsorships, volunteering and more.