Writers have until Aug. 1 to chase down more donations, and past results show they likely will. The money will go to the YMCA of Simcoe Muskoka’s Literacy Services in Huntsville, which gives classes to adults in literacy, numeracy and computer skills.
“We’re thrilled at the passion the participants of the marathon have for supporting literacy services in Muskoka,” says Kate Meeks, Capital Development Manager for the YMCA and co-convenor for the Marathon, speaking on behalf of the YMCA. “Last year the marathon helped 78 people. This coming year, it will help even more.”
“Just when I think we couldn’t possibly surpass what we raised for another year, we are already blowing away last year’s total, and it’s only Saturday,” says Nancy West, who heads up the program the Marathon helps fund. “The writers are super-inspiring and I’m eternally grateful for their Herculean efforts raising funds for literacy.”
The final total will be revealed at the Novel Marathon’s wrap-up event on September 24, when Best Novel winners will also be announced.
The Muskoka Novel Marathon is currently underway at the Active Living Centre at the Canada Summit Centre in Huntsville, with 40 writers competing for Best Novel in two categories plus other prizes. They have 72 hours to complete their works, ending at 8 p.m. on Monday, July 11.
Fundraising awards were also presented at today’s event. The top fundraiser, for the fifth year in a row, is Cheryl Cooper, who raised $3,050. Four other writers raised more than $1,500: Rebecca Senese, Lenore Butcher, Cindy Watson and Christine Cowley.
Sixteen writers, so far, have raised more than $1,000, winning a spot at next year’s marathon reserved for them—a strong incentive considering that all 40 spots were filled within 28 minutes of registration opening this year. Fundraising prizes awarded to the top 25 fundraisers include bookstore gift certificates, complimentary memberships in writers’ associations, beautiful local craft items, show tickets, free entry to local sports challenges, car detailing, a canoe trip, a resort stayover and many more, all provided by generous local sponsors.