09/16/12 — Event draws literary fans, benefits local literacy effort

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Event draws literary fans, benefits local literacy effort

By Special to The News-Argus
Published in News on September 16, 2012 1:50 AM

The setting was perfect for a literary event.

The historic home had all the trappings of a setting from an historical novel -- the elegant carvings, grand staircase, the beautiful high ceilings, lovely living room area and the nooks and crannies that likely housed secrets and stories decades ago when the former plantation home was in its heyday.

Laurie Crone Sneed and her husband, Charles, were gracious enough to allow those who gathered last weekend to enjoy the lovely grounds and historic feel of Chawton Wood in Goldsboro, as Literacy Connections held its first-ever Reading Between the Wines.

Those who gathered came to hear famed North Carolina author Margaret Maron talk about her books and her career as a novelist. They also enjoyed presentations by poet Shelby Stephenson and local historical author Emily Weil, who both also shared a bit of their creations.

The more than 90 people who gathered for the evening accomplished something else, too.

Their generous support helped fund literacy education in Wayne County. The mission of Literacy Connections of Wayne County is to promote and to provide free literacy services to Wayne County adults. The organization's vision is that all Wayne County adults will have the literacy skills to succeed at home and in the community.

Director Pat Yates and her staff, Angela Wallace-Wiggins and Andi DeRoin work to pair tutors with students, act as tutors themselves and strive to create a place where students feel safe and welcome.

Reading Between the Wines would not have been possible without the support of generous donations from the Friends of the Wayne County Public Library; H.G. Maxwell; Haithcock, Barfield, Hulse and Kinsey; Geographic Technologies Group; BB&T; Mount Olive Pickle; Polly Ellsweig; Chuck Allen; and Franklin Baking Co.

In-kind donations were also received from The Goldsboro News-Argus; Ditto Dog Printing; and Bob and Susan Crenshaw.

Floral artist Robert Daniel donated his talents and materials, creating a beautiful floral backdrop for the evening, adding an additional touch of elegance to the already lovely setting.

Food for the evening was donated by several volunteers, who offered not only the ingredients, but their time to create the hors d'oeuvres that accompanied the evening's refreshments. They included Walker and Charlotte Campbell; Don and Lynn Magoon; Jenny Lewis; Karen and Tim Haithcock; Sarah Heekin; Nicole and Donnie Barnes; Glenn and Ronda Barfield; Mary and Gary Bartlett; Yvette Dail; Sonja Redmon; John and Whitney Jansta; Frank and Suzie Acree; and Renee Carey.

Also donating their time were the members of the Eastern Wayne High School National Honor Society, who, along with volunteer Julie Daniels and her family, handled the valet parking for the evening.

The students who participated included Morgan and Carlie Powell, Danielle Gentry, Anna Pierce, Kristina Rousay, Bryce Webber and Josh Dixon.

Special thanks were also given to the Partnership for Children of Wayne County, as well as the many volunteers who offered their services for the evening. Among them were David Archibald and Jerry Phillips, who served as ushers and assisted with setup and cleanup, and John Jansta, who was the bartender for the evening.

Barbara Arntsen served as the mistress of ceremonies.