United Through Reading (UTR) hosted its 13th Annual Storybook Ball on Nov. 6, 2021, in San Diego, CA. Each year the ball brings together 300 corporate executives, senior military leaders, long-serving supporters, and military families in celebration of the consequential connections UTR champions for military families who are transiently sundered due to deployment or military assignment.
The organization raised $188,000 as part of its ongoing commitment to facilitate the bonding experience of reading aloud. One of the hallmarks of UTR is that distant serving military members and their loved ones can stay connected through video-recorded bedtime stories so that children feel loved, setting them up for emotional, social, and educational success.
"Reading gives us all a chance to end the day on a positive note, no matter how hard it is to be apart from our loved ones," said Dr. Sally Ann Zoll, CEO, United Through Reading. "These funds will allow us to continue to reimagine new ways for our military families to experience UTR's unique world of wonder and stories and create lasting memories with each other."
This year, the organization presented two awards. Author Jeff Gottesfeld & Illustrator Matt Tavares received the Audrey Geisel Friend of Military Children Award for 'Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown' for their work elevating the story of the Tomb Guards and connecting with military families. Veterans United Home Loans and Veterans United Foundation received the Reveille Award for their visionary action on behalf of military and Veteran families. The black-tie event was sponsored by the Dr. Seuss Foundation, Epsilon Systems Solutions, Inc., The Corky McMillan Companies, Amazon Military, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, Boeing, General Atomic Aeronautical.
About United Through Reading: United Through Reading keeps military families reading together, no matter the distance between them. Families stay connected through video recordings of storytime and books, sent to military families to help ease the stress of separation, maintain positive emotional connections, and cultivate a love of reading and early childhood literacy. Service members and veterans can record a story for their family at more than 200 UTR recording locations worldwide, as well as on their mobile device with our free and secure reading App. Since 1989, 2.5 million military members and their families have benefited from the program. UTR is recognized as a Guidestar Platinum Seal of Transparency Participant and is rated a 4-star Charity Navigator Rating. For more information, visit unitedthroughreading.org.
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