LAURINBURG — In its mission to help learners master basic reading and math skills, the Scotland County Literacy Council prides itself on presenting challenges.
In its first “edible book fundraiser” this evening at the Storytelling and Arts Center, the organization will challenge book lovers’ ingenuity and cooking skills to create treats with a literary theme.
“We’ve challenged people to enter a creation that is edible, but reminiscent of a book title, even if it’s as a pun,” said literacy council director Janie Adams. “It gives an opportunity to see how creative people can get.”
Entries will be accepted at the beginning of the event, which will be held from 6-8 p.m. The cost is $3 to enter one dish, $4 for two, or $5 for three.
As far as rules, anything goes: as long as it’s edible. Entries registered so far include a baked ham as “Charlotte’s Web of Deception” and spaghetti and meatballs festooned with cocktail umbrellas under “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.”
Once the winners are announced, the entries will be served to all in attendance. The literacy council will provide a coffee bar.
“We’ll have a people’s choice, people that come in just to look around will get a ballot to vote on,” said Adams, who settled upon the edible fundraiser while searching for a new idea.
“I came across the International Edible Book Festival, which was created in the year 2000 by somebody who read a book by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, ‘The Physiology of Taste’ and decided to try an ‘eat your words’ fundraiser.
An annual spring fundraiser, Taste of the Town, regularly raises thousands for the Scotland County Literacy Council. As with that event, proceeds from the edible book fundraiser will be directed toward the council’s overhead costs.
“Our mortgage every year is $6,500 and that puts us in a crunch financially, so we’re trying to raise money to help deal with those expenses,” Adams said.
Kathleen Thomasson of Durham will offer a cake decorating demonstration, while Lana Richards provides a cupcake tutorial. There will also be a silent auction of baked goods and other items.
The Scotland County Literacy Council was established in 1976. Now in its 40th year, the council still helps dozens of adults and teens at a time with remedial skills as they pursue employment, education, or simply personal goals.
This year, the council will hold a summer children’s program with two weeks in June for 3-5 year olds, two weeks in July for 6-8 year olds, and two weeks in August for 9-12 year olds.
Though beach-themed and designed to be entertaining, the focus will be academic.
“We’ll work on reading and we’ll be doing a little bit of math, making it fun but working on helping those that need a jump start or extra push,” Adams said.
Admission to the fundraiser, including sampling the entries, is $6 per person.
For information about the edible book fundraiser or summer camp, contact the literacy council at 910-276-7007.
Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-506-3169.