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Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic’s Record-a-Thon Returns April 20-25

Local firefighters, authors and screenwriter Steven J. Cannell are some of those participating in the annual benefit

Kicking off the 14th Annual Record-a-Thon for the Santa Barbara chapter of the Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic on April 20 will be a tribute to the firefighters who fought the Gap and Tea fires, and authors Stephen J. Cannell and T.C. Boyle also are scheduled to participate in the weeklong event, coordinators announced.

Santa Barbara fire Chief Ron Prince, Santa Barbara County fire Chief Tom Franklin and Los Padres National Forest fire Chief Anthony Escobar will be reading along with some of their staff at the Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic offices, 5638 Hollister Ave. A reception for the brigades will take place from noon to 1 p.m. April 20, and chili will be on the menu. The firefighters have chosen to read from the book, Fire Officer: Principle & Practice, by the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

Westmont College President Gayle Beebe will also be on hand to say a few words about the firefighters. The public is welcome to join the firefighters in reading this volume any time during the week.

“The continued success of the Record-A-Thon has brought an increase in volunteers, number of books read and new faces introduced to the organization,’’ executive director Tim Owens said. “This is a tremendous help to meeting the goals we have set. This year we hope to raise $65,000 and give out $5,000 in scholarships to students in the counties we serve — Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Ventura and Kern counties.”

Cass Warner, who screened her feature documentary, The Brothers Warner, to full houses at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, joins Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic for the first time. The film evolved out of her book by the same name published in the early 1990s — a look at the history of the studio and her family, but from a unique vantage point as the granddaughter of Harry Warner, the president and one of the founders of Warner Bros. Studios. In her documentary, she interviews Efrem Zimbalist Jr., who will be reading Warner’s book on April 21, along with author and actor Darryl Hickman.

Cannell will participate in the event for the first time at 2 p.m. April 22. The writer and producer, who is dyslexic, will be reading his latest book, On The Grind. Local authors Jane Heller (2 p.m. April 20), Boyle (2 p.m. April 21) and Selden Edwards (6 p.m. April 23) also plan to participate by reading their most recent books. Gloria Arenson (2 p.m. April 21) has her book, Procrastination Nation, on the list to be read.

April 22 is set aside for area musicians for a reading of Delta Blues by writer Ted Goija. The Santa Barbara Blues Society will participate, along with local musicians. Later that afternoon will be a salute to Louis Braille, on the 200th anniversary of his birth, with the book by Russell Freedman, Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille.

Blind readers reading the Braille version of the book will participate, along with the board and staff of the Santa Barbara Braille Institute. Other participants throughout the weeklong event include the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara, Odd Fellows, and employees from Yardi Systems, Deckers Outdoors, Raytheon, Horny Toad Apparel and Santa Barbara Bank & Trust.

The Santa Barbara unit of RFB&D is producing the annual Record-A-Thon at the offices/studios located at 5638 Hollister Ave. in Old Town Goleta. Record-A-Thon helps RFB&D recruit volunteers to read school texts and pleasure books and raise money for its audio book production and educational outreach program. The nonprofit organization is seeking sponsors to underwrite parts of the multileveled Record-A-Thon. Click here for more information or call 805.681.0531.

Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D) is the nation’s leading educational library serving people who cannot effectively read standard print because of a visual impairment, dyslexia or other physical disability.

Noozhawk staff writer Laurie Jervis can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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