On behalf of the learners, staff and tutors of the YMCA Literacy Services in Huntsville, I want to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to all those involved in the success of the Muskoka Novel Marathon 2012 held on July 13-16 in Huntsville.
This event raised almost $15,000 for local literacy programming. This year, thirty-three participants spent 72 hours in the basement of the Huntsville Civic Centre writing their novels. And for the first time ever, 4 additional novelists participated remotely, being connected through Skype from time to time to help them feel a part of the group.
There are so many people to thank. Once again, a warm and heartfelt thank you to Paula Boon & Karen Wehrstein who acted as co-convenors of this annual writing event. Also, special thanks goes to Dawn Huddlestone, webmistress and sponsor liaison, Mieke Byl, much appreciated den mother and sponsor liaison, and Wendy Dingman, sponsor liaison.
And what businesses supported the marathon? A big, sincere thank you to Algonquin Outfitters, Best Western, the Bookcase, the Bulk Barn, Canadian Tire, Coles, Comfort Inn, Deerhurst Resort, FM 105.5, Home Hardware, Hunter’s Bay Radio, Huntsville Festival of the Arts, Kelly’s Home Furniture, Lindgren Pottery, Little Caesars, Marni Martin Fibre Studio, Metro, Muskoka Roastery Coffee, The Nutty Chocolatier, ReVIBE, Robinson’s Independent Grocers, Schat Bakery & Cafe, Soapstones, Tall Trees, The Springhill Freshwater Company, That Little Place by the Lights, Town of Huntsville, Treasures & Trophies, Vinyl Cafe, and Yog’s Frozen Yogurt.We also had greeters throughout the event whose role was to speak to passersby regarding the purpose of the event. A big thank you to Wendy Dingman, Robin Steele, Lucille Skau, Eileen Lee, Wanda Sawyer, Barb Hallam, Madison Menard, and Carol Oke who did such a great job.
At the end of September, following the judging process, three writers will have their winning manuscripts sent to publishers for review. Thanks to Lorraine Alles for her work as registrar, treasurer and judge’s liaison. Thank you to our esteemed judges: arbitrator Anne Millyard, Rosemary McQuire Herman, Julie Manczak, Amber McNair, Marguerite Urban, Nancy Fischer, Karen Cassian, Wendy Dingman, Janice Rouse, Noreen Mitchell, and Kirsty Williamson. We are so grateful to literary agent Sam Hiyate of The Rights Factory and editor Peter Carver of Red Deer Press for agreeing to read and review the winning manuscripts.
Very special thanks and appreciation to the 37 writers, whose talent, enthusiasm and philanthropic spirit propelled this fundraiser to what it is today. Not only do they give up a summer weekend and sit glued to their computers for 72 hours, but they also solicit pledges from friends, neighbours, co-workers, and family for prior to the event. The $15,000 raised this year is the highest on record. As a result of the generosity of the community, the YMCA is able to expand its programming, such as developing a computer learning lab for literacy learners, and providing basic computer training for seniors. Marathoners have donated close to $70,000 over the past 12 years of this event.
The 2012 Muskoka Novel Marathon writers are: Susan Blakeney, Joanne Galbraith, Marie-Eve Girard, Kevin Craig, Lori Twining, Shellie Yaworski, Dawn Huddlestone, Karen Wehrstein, Paula Boon, Sandra Clarke, Sharon Ledwith, Jacqui Morrison, Rebecca Spry, Monika Moravan, Karen Vaughan, Amy Stuart, Lena Coakley, Lizann Flatt, Kimberley Ann Sparks, Kim Russel-Brooks, Bronwyn Russel, Skylar Brooks, Jenny Cressman, Cathy Olliffe-Webster, Tobin Elliott, Pat Flewwelling, Connie Knighton, Alison Doucette, Cheryl Cooper, Brenda Storrie, Alison Hall, Michael Codato, Nancy Beal, Debra Bennett, Madeleine Hart, Laura Litchfield and Kate Medland.
The YMCA of Simcoe Muskoka thanks everyone for the part you played in making the whole event the success it was in 2012.
YMCA Employment and Literacy Services, Huntsville