Local wine tasting fundraiser helps local children develop readi - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Local wine tasting fundraiser helps local children develop reading skills

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A good book and a glass of wine goes hand and hand. It also helped one local non-profit.  

A glass of wine is a way to relax and support a good cause through a wine tasting fundraiser to help local children. 

The fundraiser was for the Team First Book,an Horry County organization. Thursday night. Duplin Winery in North Myrtle Beach hosted a fall wine tasting event to raise money for the non-profit that purchases news books for children in need throughout the county. 

"We wanted to give back and when we found out what First Book was all about and what all they do, plus
knowing how much my brother and I love children." said Jonathan Fussell, CEO of Duplin Winery in North Myrtle Beach. "We are always wanting to support children organizations and the military too it was just a natural fit for us."

Team First Book is the local organization of a national nonprofit that raises money to buy books for the children of low-income families who don’t have their own home libraries. Since 1998, the local group has distributed more than 65,000 new books to children in the Grand Strand area.

Maggie Warren, Co-Director of Kids Hope Mentoring Program, said the Team First Book organization has been extremely helpful in their program. "These children come from families that would not have that opportunity otherwise," Warren said. 

Kids Hope is a mentor reading program that pairs what schools call at-risk children with an adult mentor to help develop their reading skills by reading with them for one hour a week. 

"We're trying to introduce them to a world they are not familiar with and to point their interest to give them something else to do besides hanging out or perhaps play video games," explained Peter Berthrong, who also serves as Co-Director of Kids Hope. 

Through the First Book group, Kids Hopes was recently able to purchase nearly a $1,000 in new books to give to children. 

The organization is just one of about 44 different programs and schools that receives funding from Team First Book Horry County to purchase new books for children of low-income families. 

"First Book provides books that these children take home during the summer months that they would not have ordinarily, that they wouldn't have the opportunity to read and we also give them to them for Christmas," Warren said. 

The winery new to the area, recently opened this summer. Fussell said this is the first of many fundraiser events for Duplin Winery.

Fussell added, "We're hoping that this is the first of many that we can give and do for the community not just for First Book but for also other organizations but tonight it's all about First Book."

Fussell said this event is all about bringing the community together.  "We allow them to learn more about First Book and more about Duplin Winery and it allows us to give that wine social experience."

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