On Friday, September 14, 2018, 280 guests gathered in the gymnasium at Berkshire South Regional Community Center in Great Barrington for United at the Table, a Berkshire United Way fundraising event. The theme of the event was “The Magic of Words Right from the Start.” Guests were invited to the one-hour luncheon by ambassadors of the organization, to hear inspiring messages about the importance of early literacy, learn about the broader work of Berkshire United Way and discover how we can all build a stronger community together if we are United at the Table.
A keynote address was delivered by Mary Pope Osborne, author of many award-winning children’s books, including the New York Times #1 bestselling series, the Magic Tree House Series. An international phenomenon, the series has sold over 143 million books and been translated into 35 languages. Ms. Osborne has traveled extensively in the US and abroad, visiting schools and speaking on issues related to children's literacy.
Additional speakers included, Sean Klink and Michael Kusek, who shared personal stories about the impact local organizations, which are supported by Berkshire United Way, have made on the lives of their children and families.
The event concluded with an announcement by Travis Daly, an associate artist in education at Berkshire Theatre Group, about an exciting partnership. The Magic Tree House creative team, Berkshire Theatre Group and Berkshire United Way have partnered together to bring the latest Magic Tree House Musical: Showtime with Shakespeare, to area schools and distribute free books at those that have a large concentration of low-income students.
The event was underwritten by the TriMix Foundation; the Foundation also matched gifts received at the event dollar for dollar, up to $25,000.