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“let the wild rumpus start!” at Reading Is Fundamental’s WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE Gala

Media Contacts:
Agatha Wolkowicz | (202) 536-3455 | AWolkowicz@rif.org
Jay Brown | 202-536-3528 | jbrown@rif.org

‘Extreme Makeover’s’ Tracy Huston, Basketball Legend & Author Kareem Abdul-Jabbar To Join Festivities

WASHINGTON, DC (February, 2013) – Maurice Sendak’s iconic and award-winning book will come to life at Reading Is Fundamental’s WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE Gala on May 9, 2013, in Washington, D.C. “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” designer Tracy Hutson will serve as the master of ceremonies and will be joined by basketball legend and children’s book author Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who will read the beloved children’s book to a crowd of more than 350.“We’re thrilled that Tracy, Kareem and our wonderful supporters will be joining us to celebrate how characters like Max and his Wild Things inspire children to dream big,” said Carol H. Rasco, CEO and President of Reading Is Fundamental. “We bring books like WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE to millions of children each year who live in low-income communities. And for many of them, their RIF books are their only books. The gala will be an opportunity to celebrate the transformative power of books for all children with new and long-time supporters of RIF.”
Tracy Hutson authored the book “Feathering the Nest: Tracy Hutson’s Earthly-Guide to Decorating Your Baby’s Room;” was a designer on the Emmy Award winning “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” reaching an estimated 14 million each week; and is a strong advocate for children’s literacy.

“When my sons were smaller, we’d roar terrible roars and gnash terrible teeth along with Max’s Wild Things,” explained Tracy Hutson. “As a parent, I can’t imagine a life without books and am deeply honored to be a part of such a worthwhile cause. Books truly do open new doors and new worlds.”

Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a New York Times best-selling author. His “What Color is my World? - The Lost History of African American Inventors” is featured in RIF’s Multicultural Book Collection. Sponsored by Macy’s, the collection uses books with science, technology, engineering, the arts and math (or STEAM) themes to inspire the next generation of innovators.

“Innovation starts with imagination and the world Maurice Sendak created continues to plant seeds of creativity in today’s children and tomorrow’s inventors,” said Abdul-Jabbar. “I’m proud to be working with Reading Is Fundamental to bring books – a vital tool for educational growth – to children in need. This gala will be a celebration of our shared commitment to children’s literacy and sparking innovation in tomorrow’s leaders.”

As RIF’s most prominent annual fundraiser, this event will raise funds to support the country-wide literacy movement, delivering free books to children and families who need them most. The event will be held at the Four Seasons of Washington, D.C., which will be transformed into an island of creatures and monsters. A pre-dinner cocktail reception and an auction will include: signed drawings from renowned children’s book illustrators; vacation trips; sports events; and WILD THINGS memorabilia. A uniquely themed dinner created by Four Seasons’ award-winning chefs will follow, and a post-dinner at the Monster Chocolate Bash dessert reception will close out the extravaganza.

Rasco added, “We are so grateful to the Estate of Maurice Sendak for its generous support through its literary and illustrative contributions to this event. We also want to extend special thanks to HarperCollins Children’s Books for their interest, support and constant encouragement in making this event possible. Their commitment to RIF is deeply appreciated.”

Lynn Caponera of the Sendak Estate said, “Maurice was a longtime supporter of RIF and its mission to inspire and motivate children through reading. The Sendak Estate and HarperCollins are honored to support the legacy of Maurice Sendak with RIF and to contribute to bringing the joy and imagination of books to all children.”

Reading Is Fundamental delivers free books and literacy resources to children and families in underserved communities in the United States. By giving children the opportunity to own a book, RIF inspires them to become lifelong readers and achieve their full potential. As the nation’s largest children’s literacy nonprofit, RIF has placed 400 million books in the hands of more than 37 million children since it was established in 1966. Learn more and help provide books to kids who need them most, visit RIF.org.


“let the wild rumpus start!” at Reading Is Fundamental’s WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE Gala