It was a packed house at Highlands Country Club on Sunday when the community gathered to support The Literacy Council and all their efforts aimed to eliminate illiteracy throughout the area.
Guest Speaker and Local Author, Diane McPhail, said the work being done at TLC is having an incredible impact in the battle against illiteracy. She read passages from her book “The Abolitionist’s Daughter,” and said keeping slaves uneducated was instrumental in keeping them enslaved.
“Having an illiteracy rate of even 1% has huge repercussions on our whole culture,” said McPhail. “When there is a problem of this size you can’t wave a magic wand and address it in it’s in entirety, you have to chip away at it.
She added that TLC’s variety of programs attack the problem of illiteracy from several angles.
“That’s why The Literacy Council is so important because that’s what they’re doing,” said McPhail. “The impact they have when they teach one person to read enables that person to access the world with a greater degree of freedom and informed-decision making. It has a never-ending-ripple effect.”
TLC Executive Director Bonnie Potts said over $100K was raised throughout the evening with a silent auction, a paddle raise, and a good old-fashion live auction. She said events like A Celebration to Education are vital to fund programs as TLC grows and evolves to reach more and more people on the Plateau.
“The funds brought in from the event all go directly towards programming,” said Potts. “And what’s raised tonight funds our programs for the year,” said Potts.
Potts added that McPhail was a great choice as this year’s Guest Speaker.
“She understands the importance of literacy in the area,” said Potts. “She and Ray (McPhail) are always such advocates for the community.”
Board Member and past TLC Chair Susan Smith said she is grateful to TLC’s many wonderful volunteers and donors, and to McPhail, who Smith said spoke from her heart on the incredible difference just one person can make in another person’s life.
“This year’s event exceeded last year’s, with many new donors who now support our mission of making lives better, not only for the individual and our small community, but also for others in Macon County,” said Smith. “This is so important to our organization, as we know there is a much greater need than we have been able to serve thus far. And with our new space, we will be able to serve more students (of all ages), and develop new programs.”
Smith added this is the second time TLC has hosted A Celebration of Education. The first was in 2018 and was so successful they immediately decided to continue with similar annual events.
“Our students need qualified teachers and volunteers; supplies, such as books, paper and such; and meals and childcare for our working adults who would not be able to attend classes otherwise,” she said. “That’s what these financial gifts provide.”