Reading Is Fundamental of Southern California Celebrates 40 Years of Literacy Outreach at 3rd Annual Boggle for Books Event

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Evening to honor founding member Marva Shearer, Ronald McDonald House Charities, as well as RIF kids past and present in carnival-themed night of fun

Reading Is Fundamental of Southern California (RIFSoCal) - the L.A. organization that helped spark a nationwide reading revolution - celebrates a milestone birthday on Saturday, May 19, 2012, at Boggle for Books, the organization’s annual evening of food, music and brainiac fun, held this year at the art deco Fred Harvey Room inside historic Union Station.

Proving that 40 is still fabulous, RIFSoCal plans an evening of carnival-style festivities with a special focus on founding member Marva Shearer, as well as RIF kids past and present. The night will also honor Ronald McDonald House Charities with a Hero Award for their continuing support of RIFSoCal’s book distributions, which provide brand-new books of choice to 100,000 under-served children in the Los Angeles area every year. Shearer will receive the Julie Cooke Humanitarian Award in memory of the RIFSoCal past Board member who served as long-time vice president of the Book Program.

Founded in 1972, RIFSoCal has grown to become the largest program within the Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) national organization. RIF, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is the nation’s largest nonprofit children’s literacy organization, supporting the distribution of 15 million books annually in all 50 states, through a combination of private donations and federal funding. A 501(c)3 organization with a Board of Directors, RIFSoCal has received special recognition from RIF for operational excellence, cited as a model for running a successful multi-site program.

“We could not be more excited about this year’s program,” says RIFSoCal Executive Director Carol Henault. “It’s both touching and invigorating to take a look back at our organization and realize that no matter the economic challenges we face today, a small group of committed women back in 1972 was able to organize a community literacy program that has stood the test of time. As we tackle the goal of distributing new books and promoting literacy in a digital world, we look back to our founders, as well as our former RIF kids who are now all grown up, for inspiration and strength. Their success motivates us to new heights.”

The evening’s program includes everyone’s favorite -- Boggle for Books -- RIFSoCal’s one-of-a-kind group tournament based on the popular word game. This year, join Boggle aficionados from across Southern California for a more relaxed tournament that allows for more play and less time calculating scores.

The night will also feature casual food favorites such as mini tamales, corn dogs, sliders and cotton candy. A photo booth location and other carnival-style activities will be set against the uplifting sounds of JazzAmerica, a nonprofit band dedicated to perpetuating the jazz tradition through education.

About Marva Shearer
Marva Shearer, a House Beautiful contributing writer and wife of the late Lloyd Shearer, renowned writer of the Walter Scott celebrity column in Parade magazine, engaged her extensive network of wealthy and influential friends to firmly establish RIFSoCal’s far-reaching mission in Los Angeles.

About Ronald McDonald House Charities®
Ronald McDonald House Charities® is best known for creating “homes away from home” that enable families with a hospitalized child to stay together. Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Southern California (RMHCSC) also funds non-profit organizations committed to improving the lives of children in Southern California’s nine counties. RMHCSC made its first grant to RIFSoCal in 2006 and has made several additional large gifts over the years. And, the famous Ronald McDonald regularly visits RIFSoCal schools to personally inspire children to read.

About RIFSoCal
Founded in 1972, Reading Is Fundamental of Southern California (RIFSoCal) “Inspires Readers for Tomorrow” by promoting a lifelong love of reading in children in under-served communities through more than 250 free book distributions every year, run by more than 8,000 volunteers.

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Erica Martinetti
Twin Engine Communications
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Carol Henault
Reading Is Fundamental of Southern California
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