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Local Agencies Can Apply
for Gift Certificates for Books

RELEASED: Feb. 4, 2008

First Book logoEAU CLAIRE — The First Book-Eau Claire Campus Advisory Board at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has received $5,000 worth of Borders gift cards to distribute locally to non-profit groups that serve children.

The $5,000 award is the result of a holiday fund raising campaign by Borders and Waldenbooks, which raised more than $1 million through customer donations during the 2007 holiday season. First Book-Eau Claire received $1,500 in 2006 and $3,000 in 2007.

First Book-Eau Claire will receive 10 $500 certificates, said Don Mowry, director of the Center for Service-Learning and chair of the First Book campus advisory board. As a Borders Success Story Challenge winner, the local group will receive additional certificates, he said.

Applications will be sent to local agencies that may be interested in applying for the gift cards, Mowry said. Groups will have until Feb. 15 to respond, he said. The campus board can recommend all certificates go to one agency or that they be distributed among several agencies. The national First Book office has final approval.

Reward packets will likely be distributed by the national office later this month, Mowry said, adding that he anticipates a local ceremony to honor recipients in early March.

Since 2005, First Book-Eau Claire has distributed more than 10,000 books to local programs serving low-income children, Mowry said. The books have been distributed through organizations such as Western Dairyland Head Start, the Eau Claire Area School District's Head Start and Reading Partner Program, Family Resource Center of Eau Claire, Bolton Refuge House, Interfaith Hospitality-Beacon House, Eau Claire Area Hmong Mutual Assistance Association's Building Bridges Program, and Literacy Volunteers of the Chippewa Valley.

In 2007, First Book-Eau Claire awarded $1,000 to Bolton Refuge House, the Interfaith Hospitality Network's Beacon House family shelter and the Family Resource Center of Eau Claire, Mowry said.

Agencies receiving the gift certificates also may be eligible for 20-25 percent educator discounts at their local Borders.

First Book is a national nonprofit organization with a goal to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. For more details about First Book, visit see their Web site or call 866-393-1222.

For local inquiries, contact Don Mowry at 715-836-4649.

-30-

NW/JB

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