Party in the Sky

North Texas literacy advocates get lifted to new heights at penthouse party

Dallas literacy advocates get lifted to new heights at penthouse party

Kate Watson and husband, toast to literacy kickoff
LIFT supporters gathered to kick off this year's Toast to Literacy, which takes place September 18. Photo by Micheal Neal
Tucker Bomar, Ashley Scheer, Lisa Hembry, C.C. Allen and Dr. Ron Washington, toast to literacy kick off
Tucker Bomar, Ashley Scheer, Lisa Hembry, C.C. Allen, Dr. Ron Washington Photo by Micheal Neal
Lauren McCarthy with Jessica Hunt, toast to literacy kick off
Lauren McCarthy, Jessica Hunt Photo by Micheal Neal
Natasha and Keith Blanco with Amber Sims, toast to literacy kick off
Keith Blanco, Natasha Blanco, Amber Sims Photo by Micheal Neal
Fred Savelsbergh, Richard Mauldin, toast to literacy kick off
Fred Savelsbergh, Richard Mauldin Photo by Micheal Neal
Joyce and Charles Collie, Lisa Hembry, toast to literay kickoff
Joyce Collie, Lisa Hembry, Charles Collie Photo by Micheal Neal
Kate Watson and husband, toast to literacy kickoff
Tucker Bomar, Ashley Scheer, Lisa Hembry, C.C. Allen and Dr. Ron Washington, toast to literacy kick off
Lauren McCarthy with Jessica Hunt, toast to literacy kick off
Natasha and Keith Blanco with Amber Sims, toast to literacy kick off
Fred Savelsbergh, Richard Mauldin, toast to literacy kick off
Joyce and Charles Collie, Lisa Hembry, toast to literay kickoff

To kick off Toast to Literacy, its largest fundraiser of the year, Literacy Instruction for Texas (LIFT) held a penthouse soiree at The House at Victory Park, hosted by Dave Perry-Miller and Ebby Halliday. Supporters indulged in food and drink and toured residences, but they also learned an important lesson about the organization’s mission — and some shocking statistics about literacy in North Texas.

One important fact guests wouldn’t soon forget: One in five adults in Dallas is considered illiterate.

“Imagine the heartbreak of being unable to assist your child with homework or the frustration of trying to apply for a job when you can’t communicate effectively,” said Lisa Hembry, president and CEO of LIFT. “There are more than 850,000 low-literate persons in North Texas who experience this each day. By the year 2030, the number will be close to a million if we don’t reverse the trend.”

In an effort to do just that, on September 18, LIFT will welcome literacy advocates and wine enthusiasts to Union Station in downtown Dallas for seated dinner, live auction and raffle, and keynote speech from bestselling author Matthew Bondurant. New York Times bestselling author Kathleen Kent and Dallas real estate executive C.C. Allen will serve as co-chairs of the fundraiser.

Sponsorships of $5,000 and above entitle those donors to an exclusive pre-dinner wine tasting; individual seats are $200. All proceeds from the event benefit LIFT literacy programs, which help empower learners with reading skills to improve their quality of life.

Founded in 1961, LIFT’s mission is to enhance lives and strengthen communities by teaching adults to read. Each year through the dedication of more than 350 trained volunteers, LIFT serves thousands of adult learners in four program areas: adult basic literacy, GED preparation, English as a second language and family literacy.