Russellville, AK (PRWEB) September 21, 2008
An online auction is being launched nationwide on September 20, with the goal of raising funds and awareness for Literacy in Arkansas. The drive will feature autographed and personal items donated by popular authors Erin Hunter, Rick Riordan, Brandon Mull, and many other talented authors and artists.
The showpiece of the auction is a complete set of the first Warriors series, triple-signed by all three of the original authors using their own names--Vicky Holmes, Kate Cary, and Cherith Baldry--the first time that the authors have signed any Warriors book using their own names, rather than the pen name Erin Hunter. The auction will be held in memory of a ten-year-old girl, Emmy Cherry, who was killed earlier this year in tornados that swept through central Arkansas.
Ten-year-old Emmy Grace Cherry died along with both of her parents on February 5, 2008. Emmy was a sweet, caring 10-year-old girl who loved animals and books, and wanted to be either an astronomer or a veterinarian. Emmy was a big fan of the Warriors series, a highly popular children's book series about clans of feral cats living in the forest. Emmy's last 5th grade school report, was entitled, "My Favorite Author: Erin Hunter." Erin Hunter is a pen name; writers Kate Cary, Cherith Baldry, Tui Sutherland, and Victoria Holmes take turns writing the books, with Holmes as editor and primary series planner. British writer Holmes is also the public face of Erin Hunter, and has toured the U.S. several times, drawing huge crowds at each of her appearances.
Emmy's surviving family, including grandmothers Kay Cherry and Elaine Kizer, wanted to bring some good into the world in memory of their beloved Emmy, and so they created the Brightspirit Relief Fund, to aid causes that would have been important to Emmy, such as literacy, animal organizations, and storm relief. All funds raised from the auction will go to these causes, with a primary emphasis on helping the communities of Arkansas.
Holmes learned of Emmy Cherry's death from a letter that Russellville bookseller. Lynn Wiman wrote to Warriors publisher HarperCollins. Wiman knew Emmy well, as a customer and a friend, and wanted to do something special to honor her memory, so she wrote to HarperCollins asking if she could purchase an autographed Warriors book to donate to Emmy's school library as a memorial. Lynn's letter kicked off a chain of events, as person after person who heard the story was touched by it.
Holmes and the other Erin Hunter writers were so moved that they donated, not one book, but an entire set. Holmes also contacted Sheila Ruth, administrator of a popular Warriors fan site, Wands and Worlds (http://www.wandsandworlds.com), and asked her if she would post a memorial to Emmy Cherry. After Ruth posted on Wands and Worlds, young fans from around the world began posting condolences and pictures made in honor of Emmy. Warriors fans on Wands and Worlds also chose honorary Warriors names for Emmy and her parents, similar to the names the cats use in the Warriors books; they chose for Emmy the name Brightspirit. Fans bestowed on Emmy's mother the name Shiningheart, and her father the name Braveheart. Holmes subsequently announced the Brightspirit, Braveheart, and Shiningheart will make a cameo appearance in an upcoming Warriors book, Long Shadows.
The auction will be launched at Warriors Day, a literacy event hosted by Russellville, Arkansas in memory of Emmy and at which Holmes will be the guest of honor. Holmes will hold a press conference at 9:00am, Saturday, September 20th, at the Hughes Center Board Room in Russellville. She has devoted an hour to talking with the press, photographs, and discussing her desire to help us shine a light on Literacy in Arkansas.
For more information visit the Auction home page: http://brightspirit.cmarket.com
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