Imagination Library

ROGERSVILLE — The Hawkins County Imagination Library Board is gearing up for their second annual “No-Run Run” fundraiser in memory of the late Rogersville storyteller and humorist, Doc McConnell. The HCIL is seeking to raise $30,000, which is the cost to purchase one book per month for one year for each of the 2,366 enrolled children within Hawkins County.

The event will be held on Sept. 23 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Mel’s Riverside Bar and Grill, 3415 Highway 66 South.

According to the organization’s flyer, “runners” will experience all the festivities associated with a run such as “a race number, a commemorative t-shirt, and a great ‘after party.’” However, all participants have to do in order to cross the “finish line” is to walk across the restaurant!

At the finish line, “runners” will be provided with light Hors d’ Oeuvres and can order food and beverages from a limited menu on their own.

To participate in the event, “runners” can either pre-register for the event for $30 or pay $40 at the door.

Even if you are unable to attend the event, you can still participate from the comfort of your home. All you have to do is register to “compete” at home, and the HCIL will deliver a t-shirt and a race number to your door.

Those who wish to sponsor the event will have a recognition poster hung at the event bearing their name. Sponsors can choose from five sponsorship levels: the 5K Run with a $60 donation, the 10K Run with a $120 donation, the Half-Marathon Run with a $240 donation, the Marathon Run with a $600 donation or the Ultra-Marathon Run with a $1,000 donation.

The HCIL mission is to “boost language acquisition, literacy and kindergarten readiness in Hawkins Co. preschoolers,” and the program is available to Hawkins Co. children ages five and under.

Through the HCIL, eligible children receive one age-appropriate book per month by mail.

Since its inception, the HCIL has delivered 265,000 books throughout the county. 4,969 Hawkins Co. children have already graduated from HCIL, which means that they received one book per month from birth to age five.

The original idea for the Imagination library came from Dolly Parton, who started the organization in Sevier County in 1996 through the Dollywood Foundation.

In 2004, Former Governor Phil Bredesen created the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation with the goal of spreading the Imagination Library throughout the state. Governor’s Books from Birth funds half of the cost of the books and mailing in all counties through a state grant from the Tennessee General Assembly.

Tennessee remains the only state in which every county operates an Imagination Library.

To register for the “No-Run Run” or become a sponsor, you can pick up a registration form at the Rogersville Review office on 316 E Main St. in Rogersville or check out our Facebook page. You can also contact HCIL Coordinator Charlotte Britton at (423) 272-7237 or brittonc@charter.net.

To enroll your child in the program, visit GovernorsFoundation.org or contact Charlotte Britton.