Four hands worth of fancy fingers will be featured at A JOYful Event this year.
Andy Anderson and Mike Leeds will bring their dueling pianos act to the annual Study Club Charity Gala, said Study Club spokesperson Kim Peimann. Anderson and Leeds have been featured locally before, at Willow Ridge.
The event has been held every year since 1935, Peimann said. This year it will benefit the Emily Joy Averill Foundation. In honor of Emily Averill, who died in a car accident in 2011, the foundation has given multiple scholarships and supported cheerleading organizations.
The funds raised at this event will help as it develops its newest initiative, the Joy of Reading.
"Emily was a helper in a second-grade classroom. She just had a real touch with children. That was a focus for her," said Emily's mother, Katie Averill, who runs the foundation. "Remembering that, we've started in this direction on literacy."
Since Emily was very active in reading to kids, Katie Averill and the foundation decided to give a book to every second-grader in Fort Dodge.
If you go:
WHAT: Study Club annual Charity Gala
WHEN: 7 p.m. to midnight, Nov. 3
WHERE: Fort Dodge Country Club
TICKETS: $50 per person, available by calling 574-9003
PROCEEDS will benefit the Emily Joy Averill Foundation
What is Study Club?
Study Club is a women's group founded in 1935. Though members initially picked a topic to study for the year, they quickly gave that up. The group has monthly programs featuring local speakers. Its goal is to raise money for charities.
"The public school, St. Ed, St. Paul and Community Christian are all on board," Katie Averill said. "We will distribute these books on Nov. 14, 15, 16."
The book, called "Have you Filled your Bucket Today?" is about kindness and sharing, and will be available for purchase at A JOYful Event.
"It teaches kids that if they do something nice they fill their bucket, and if they do something not so nice they empty their bucket," she said.
There will also be artwork for sale based on a drawing of a tree done by Emily. That tree is the basis of the foundation's logo.
Katie Averill said they are looking for ways to grow the Joy of Reading program in the future, and have partnered with the Fort Dodge Public Library, the United Way and other organizations.
"We don't want to just stop with giving books to second-graders," she said. "We're exploring other ways to promote literacy and take this to the next level in the future."
Katie Averill, who has been a Study Club member for 12 years, stressed "how proud I am of this women's organization to support this on a local basis, and be the springboard to really help us grow as a foundation."
In past years, the charity event has supported myriad organizations.
"Last year a donation was given to Backpack Buddies, and to the new Trinity Regional Hospital Cancer Center," Peimann said. "The year before that, the proceeds went to the Beacon of Hope and the YWCA.
"Ten thousand dollars was raised last year, and the year before it was $8,400."
A late-night taco bar, compliments of Taco Tico, is included in the ticket price.