MANASQUAN — Local bookseller BookTowne hosted its second annual Read-A-Thon fundraiser over the weekend of Nov. 11-12.
The Read-A-Thon, which began last year and then benefited Common Ground Grief Center, came about as a result of a similar activity that Peter Albertelli, owner of BookTowne, remembered from his highschool years. His church would have an event called a “Rock-A-Thon,” in which participants would rock in a rocking chair instead of reading. Like the Read-A-Thon, sponsors would donate money to benefit an organization.
This year, money raised from donations will benefit the Kindness Cafe, an establishment that opened last year and employs people with disabilities to help them get true job experience. The Kindness Cafe operates inside of Main Street Kitchen, located at 140 Main St., on Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 to 11 a.m.
Throughout the day, local “celebrities” read in the windowsill of the book store up until the store closed. After the store had shut its doors, the reading continued with friends and employees of the store reading in the window throughout the entire night. Every two hours during the night, one person would take turns reading, while the others slept.
The “celebrities” throughout the day were: Pastor Mary Farnham of Holy Trinity Church; Katie and Cole Hallman, locals who appeared on American Idol last year [Katie also “shines like a star every week at Kindness Cafe,” according to Mr. Albertelli]; Bub Drury, local New York Times best selling author; Mike Farragher, local Irish author of all things Gaelic; Maribeth Pelly, new director of Brielle Public Library; Harry Harvey, Manasquan High School English teacher and author; and Brooks Ward, the youngest of all the local celebrities.
One of the celebrities, Mr. Harvey said to The Coast Star, “Reading is so important because aside from gaining knowledge and a better vocabulary, reading is the number one way you can relieve stress.”
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