Alpena County Library has come up with a novel idea to raise funds for cancer research.
Instead of the more traditional walk-a-thons and running events often held to benefit local charities, the library is asking area book lovers to gather Sept. 14-15 and take part in a 24-hour read-a-thon. People who wish to take participate may sign up at the library for a minimum of one-hour quiet reading time, with longer shifts welcomed and appreciated.
Participants will be asked to donate $1 for every hour they read. They also are encouraged to solicit sponsorships from friends and family.
"It is like the Relay for Life, only more sedentary," Library Director Eric Magness-Eubank said.
Money collected from the read-a-thon will be turned over to the Alpena Lions Club to add to their totals from this year's Relay for Life.
"We are happy to be part of such a worthy project," Magness-Eubank also said.
The idea for the read-a-thon initially came from Magness-Eubank's wife, Karen, who was inspired by Friends of the Library volunteers Ken and Marie Dully. Over the past year, Marie has waged a battle again breast cancer, and Karen said she was thinking of the couple as they helped with the recent Relay for Life event held at Alpena County Fairgrounds.
"I thought the read-a-thon would be an alternative to walking," Karen Magness-Eubank said. "So many people have been touched by cancer. People are looking for a way to express what they are feeling."
During the event, a quiet area for reading will be set aside in the periodical section of the library on the lower level. The hope is that the entire 24-hour period from 10 a.m. Sept. 14 to 10 a.m. Sept. 15 will covered by readers.
"The more the merrier," said Karen Magness-Eubank. "The idea is to get a bunch of people reading together."
At the same time the reading is going on, special events will be held in the upstairs meeting room of the library. Children's programming and crafts are scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon and a poetry cantata directed by Dr. Avery Aten will run from 2 to 4 p.m.
Teen programming will fill the late night hours from midnight to 8 a.m. The library already has lined up volunteers to supervise during the wee hours of the read-a-thon. Sara Grochowski has volunteered to serve from midnight to 4 a.m., and Anne and Pat Heraghty have volunteered from 4 to 8 a.m.
Anyone interested in participating may sign-up at the library's front desk. Walk-ins also are welcome. For more information on the read-a-thon, call the library at 356-6188.