Santa Barbara citizens again turned out in force for the 13th annual Record-A-Thon presented by Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic. Thirty Newcomers, two dozen Raytheon employees and three dozen Rotarians read books, including actress Julie Andrews’ biography, Home, and Stephen J. Cannell’s newest murder mystery, Three Shirt Deal.

Ciena Rose of Santa Barbara Newcomers, said it “was great! Everyone was very energized by the experience. One man told me as he was leaving … ‘My wife is going to volunteer and I will be writing a check’… music to my ears. RFB&D is good medicine.”

Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic board member Irene Macias, library director of the Santa Barbara Public Library System, was touched by the turnout.

“It’s gratifying to see so many members of the community turn out to help others learn through listening,” she said.

Rotary Club of Santa Barbara president Marlene King led an impressive team of Rotarian readers.

“I’m proud to say that we doubled our participation this year,” she said. “It’s our third year of having a special Rotary Reads event, and I’ve read all three years. I think it’s a wonderful way to get Rotarians exposed to the organization. It’s a very rewarding experience to read for those who struggle with reading.”

Merrill Hoffman, a 29-year Rotarian and membership chairman for the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara, said the two nonprofit organizations’ partnership is a natural one.

“Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic fits in perfectly with Rotarians working together to help other people,” he said. “It’s interesting and fun and a little more challenging than you would think if you haven’t done it before, because you’re reading a book you’ve never seen before. I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

The Record-A-Thon ends at noon Saturday. If you missed it, there will be a Learning Through Listening presentation about the organization’s work from 5:30-6:30 p.m. May 20. Click here for more information or RSVP to 805.681.0531.

Kathy Wertheim is with Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic.