Friday, January 30, 2015

The Volunteers Behind Book 'Em North Carolina

The Book ‘Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair has grown tremendously over the past four years, making it a multi-award-winning event. None of it could be possible without the time, money, hard work and support of so many volunteers and sponsors in our community. Below are just some of the people who make this event happen, and who attendees will come in contact with at our 2015 event. They’re listed in no particular order of priority, as every single individual and organization is vital to our success. I am certain I will have forgotten someone in this list and I apologize up-front! With around 200 volunteers, it is challenging to keep up with them all, but each and every one is deeply appreciated.
Robeson Community College
This event would not be possible without the generosity of our host, Robeson Community College, its President, Dr. Pamela Hilbert, and the faculty and staff who work all year to ensure its success, most especially James Bass, Director of The Learning Center; Crystal Edmonds, Chair for English and Humanities; Susan Moore and Roy Raby, who bring together dozens of volunteers; and Patricia Clark and her security and maintenance staffs. On the day of the event, you’ll find RCC staff and students everywhere you look—from the cashiers ringing up the sales to volunteers dressed in blue t-shirts assisting in every hallway.
Lumberton Area Visitors Bureau
Upon arriving at Book ‘Em North Carolina, you’re likely to see the welcome table of the Lumberton Area Visitors Bureau as soon as you enter the lobby. Executive Director Mickey Gregory has been a member of the Executive Committee since the early days of Book ‘Em North Carolina. She has worked tirelessly to promote the events, to involve area businesses and volunteers, and through the generosity of the Lumberton Area Visitors Bureau and its Board of Directors, we’ve received grants to allow us to promote the event over a multi-state area as well as a Twitter campaign added this year (@bookemnc).
Robeson County Arts Council
Also in the lobby of the event, you’ll find the Robeson County Arts Council, chaired by Dr. Mary Ann Masters. The Arts Council is instrumental in promoting literary arts, visual and performing arts, and highlighting the talent that abounds in Robeson County. Please stop by the art display in the lobby to admire photography and paintings from local artists, and be sure to ask for information on exciting upcoming events. And when you pay for books purchased at Book ‘Em North Carolina, the Robeson County Arts Council handles all of the accounting for the event. Our accountant is Stephen Parker with the firm S. Preston Douglas; Stephen works tirelessly all year on all bookkeeping and accounting matters.
Friends of the Robeson County Public Library
Robeson County Public Library – Librarians
The Friends of the Robeson County Public Library along with Director Katie Huneycutt and librarian Lisa Matthews and Mattie Locklear will be your hosts for all of the adult talks in the Lewis Auditorium, Red Room and Green Room. Every one of them is a true book lover in every sense of the word, and they will be working to ensure that every author and every talks attendee has a wonderful time.
In addition, James Bass, Director of the RCC Learning Center, and a special committee will be working in the Lewis Auditorium on stage setup. The furniture on stage is provided pro bono by Kimbrell’s Furniture in Lumberton, North Carolina.
The Children’s Corner
There are a number of volunteers working in The Children’s Corner to ensure a fun and exciting time for the youngest readers. It is chaired by Communities In Schools (Executive Director Dencie Lambdin) and the CIS Academy (Anne Kinlaw). Author readings and activities are planned all day. The Dolly Parton Imagination Library of Robeson County, Kiwanis Club of Lumberton, and Communities In Schools for Robeson County will all have tables and will be anxious to speak to parents and children about the fun of reading.
Public Schools of Robeson County
Sandi Carter, the Arts Education Supervisor for the Public Schools of Robeson County, has worked with us each year, coordinating most of the signs you’ll see throughout the facility, especially in The Children’s Corner. Those signs are hand-made by students in the Public Schools of Robeson County, using their imaginations to bring stories to life.
Dencie Lambdin, Executive Director for Communities In Schools of Robeson County, will have student volunteers from the CIS Academy assisting in The Children’s Corner and throughout the event.
And students from Studio One, an innovative program within the Public Schools of Robeson County’s Arts Education Program, have appeared at each of our events in costume, bringing books to life through live characterizations of The Little Mermaid, Cat in the Hat, Snow White, and much more.
Talks Moderators
Our panel discussions are moderated by a volunteer from our business community, many of whom also financially sponsor the event (as indicated by asterisks beside their names):
Dr. Pamela Hilbert, President of Robeson Community College *
Joann Anderson, President and CEO of Southeastern Health *
Katie Huneycutt, Director, Robeson County Public Library
James Bass, Robeson Community College
Crystal Edmonds, Robeson Community College
Drina Hedgpeth, retired teacher
Bruce Jobe, The Law Offices of Bruce Jobe, P.A. *
Ginger King, Author
Jef Lambdin, President, Robeson Road Runners *
Dr. Mary Ann Masters, Lumberton Optometric Associates, PLLC *
Chip Pate, LPL Financial *
Carolyn Watson, Robeson Community College
Dennis Watts, Robeson Community College
Roy Raby, Robeson Community College 
Author Lounge
Our Author Lounge is hosted for the second year in a row by the Lumberton Women’s Club and Lumberton Juniorettes, who will be on hand all day greeting authors and serving a continental breakfast and buffet lunch to authors and their guests.
Food is provided free of charge to authors and their guests (a special ticket is required for entry) through the generosity of Golden Corral of Lumberton Buffet and Catering. For the second year, through the generosity of our financial sponsorships, we are offering meals to volunteers who work at the event (a special ticket or blue t-shirt is required for entry).
City of Lumberton
Ray Pennington, Mayor of Lumberton, has been a strong supporter of Book ‘Em North Carolina since I approached him almost nine years ago. Chief Mike McNeill of the Lumberton Police Department has graciously provided fingerprinting, Sherlock Hound, and other police support. And Connie Russ has ensured that flyers are included with every Lumberton resident’s utility bill each year of our event.
Sponsors
Our financial sponsors allow us to pay all overhead expenses associated with the Book ‘Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair, which allows us to donate 100% of the proceeds provided to BENC from book sales on the day of the event to area literacy efforts. This year our financial sponsors are:
National Sponsor
Southern Writers Magazine
Platinum Sponsors (over $1,000)
Lumberton Area Visitors Bureau
Golden Corral of Lumberton Buffet and Catering
The Village Station Restaurant
Gold Sponsors ($1,000)
Friends of the Robeson County Public Library
Rotary Club of Lumberton
Southeastern Health
Kiwanis Club of Lumberton (providing free dictionaries to children)
Silver Sponsors ($500)
The Law Offices of Bruce Jobe
DD Productions

Bronze Sponsors ($250)
Author B.R. Stanard
Century 21 – Leroy Rising
Edward Jones - Mary Jo Walter
LPL Financial - Chip Pate 
Lumberton Optometric Associates, PLLC
Robeson Road Runners
S. Preston Douglas & Associates
Robeson Community College
Media Sponsors
Author p.m.terrell (website, blogspot, e-newsletters)
Lumberton Magazine
Native Visions Magazine
Robeson Living Magazine
Robesonian Newspaper
Southern Writers Magazine
WHQR (Wilmington)
WPDE-TV (Myrtle Beach)
WRAL-TV (Raleigh)
Hotel Sponsors
Best Western (pet friendly)
Fairfield Inn
Comfort Suites 
This post was written by the founder and chair of Book 'Em North Carolina, author p.m.terrell. For more information about Book 'Em North Carolina, visit www.bookemnc.org. For more information about p.m.terrell, visit www.pmterrell.com.

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