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Black Tie International:
Literacy Partners "Food for Thought" Luncheon


Bestselling Oprah’s Book Club Author Wally Lamb
and Honorary Chair Jacqueline Weld Drake
 Headline Literacy Partners
“Food for Thought”
to Help Raise Awareness of Adult Illiteracy


Jacqueline Weld Drake, Wally Lamb, Anne Sitrick,
Jacqueline Weld Drake, Wally Lamb, Anne Sitrick,
Cece Black, Catherine Cahill
Photo by: 
Natalie Licini Photography


On February 8, Literacy Partners, New York’s only nationally
accredited adult literacy program, held the second luncheon in their
annual Food for Thought series.  The intimate event featured a
presentation by Wally Lamb, bestselling author of The Hour I First Believed and
two Oprah’s Book Club picks, She’s Come Undone,
and I Know This Much Is TrueLiteracy Partners Honorary Chair Jacqueline Weld Drake hosted the insightful and often poignant Q&A.


During their conversation, Lamb discussed the impact that
 running a writing workshop at the York Correctional Institution,
Connecticut's only maximum-security prison for women,
has had on his life.  Lamb even shared a short excerpt of
one of his student’s stories.  He and Weld Drake also addressed
 the recent shooting in Tucson, Arizona – a topic close to Lamb,
as his most recent novel, The Hour I First Believed, includes
 a fictionalized account of the Columbine High School shootings.


Weld Drake also spoke with Lamb about his writing process,
how he handled overnight fame, and his reaction to an unexpected
phone call from Oprah Winfrey.  Lamb recalled his conversation
 with Winfrey about the impact reading had on her life. 


“In 1992, she called and thanked me for writing She’s Come Undone,
“Lamb explained. “Oprah told me that reading basically saved her life
 during a rough childhood.”  Five years later, Winfrey called again,
requesting to feature his novel in her then newly formed
“Oprah’s Book Club” segment.  In 1998, Lamb’s book
 I Know This Much Is True was his second book featured on the show.   

During his interview with Drake, Lamb noted,
“When the universe gives you a gift, you want to give something back.  That’s why when a group like Literacy Partners calls,
I’m here; to try and even things up for the people who haven’t had
 the same chances I have.”

Literacy Partners Honorary Chair Jacqueline Weld Drake
is chairing the luncheons, all of which are being held at the
legendary New York restaurant Le Cirque. 


Luncheon Committee members in attendance included
Alexandra Anderson, Martha Bograd, Patricia Beard Braga,
Ellie Cullman, Barrett Frelinghuysen, Jacqueline M. Garrett,
Sharon King Hoge, Lois Nasser, Marjorie Reed, Susan W. Rotenstreich, Betty Sargent, Molly Schaefer, Anne Sitrick,
Joan S. Steinberg,
and Stephanie Stokes.


The event was also attended by Literacy Partners Chairman
Mark Jackson,
Executive Director Susan McLean, and
Board Members Peter Brown, Sharon King Hoge, and
Katharine Raymond
Notable New Yorkers Alicia Jahn,
Catherine Cahill, Cristina Grassi,
and Coco Kopelman
were also present at the luncheon.


The next Literacy Partners Food for Thought author event
will take place on April 6, 2011, featuring Tracey Jackson,
screenwriter for films such as Confessions of a Shopaholic
 and now author of the forthcoming Between a Rock and a Hot Place:
Why Fifty Is Not the New Thirty

For ticket information, please visit
 or call 646-237-0105.


About Literacy Partners:  For over 35 years, Literacy Partners has helped thousands of New Yorkers learn the basic reading, writing and math skills needed to succeed in day-to-day living.  Through successful collaborations with major corporations, community partners and benefactors, Literacy Partners offers small, welcoming classes taught by enthusiastic, highly trained volunteer tutors.  Literacy Partners is the only nationally accredited adult literacy program serving New York City.  For more information, visit
Joyce Brooks

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