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Talent Galore at ‘Beyond the Book Bash’ Benefit for Library Saturday

Comic Michael Pritchard, Liss Fain Dance, poet Billy Butler, best-selling author Jason Roberts, storytellers the Kitchen Sisters and Tim Hockenberry, who recently made the semifinals of 'America's Got Talent' on NBC all set to perform at

As young families flood into Mill Valley, the is working to keep up with a growing demand for children’s reading programs, longer study hours for teens and access to e-books and other technology.

Private dollars are essential to maintaining a thriving library, which means organizers of the fall fundraiser hope it sells out again this year.

“Beyond the Book Bash,” an evening of music, dance, book readings, a bourbon bar, local gourmet foods and paired wines, is set for Saturday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. at the in downtown Mill Valley. The event is hosted by the Mill Valley Library Foundation, Friends of the Mill Valley Library and the Mill Valley Film Festival--begins.

Emcee Michael Pritchard, who won first place in the San Francisco International Stand Up Comedy Competition, will introduce: local , who ; , , best-selling author Jason Roberts, and Peabody Award winning-storytellers the Kitchen Sisters.

“We’re inspired by the enthusiasm from supporters during a time when everyone needs to prioritize their charitable dollars,” said Lisa Parker, president of the Mill Valley Library Foundation. “This is about investing in a community that values the need to unplug and savor the little things.”

Over the past two years, the Mill Valley Library Foundation has raised more than $100,000 in private contributions. The money underwrites the popular First Fridays wine and entertainment series and other after-hours events that offer live teen poetry readings, art lectures and feature films. The public-private partnership is considered a civic model by elected officials searching for solutions in response to state budget challenges.

Vera Meislin, co-chair of the event, has worked tirelessly to build a vibrant program that captures the energy and spirit of an exceptionally creative community.

“This event is unlike anything done any where. People have a sense of adventure in Mill Valley,” Meislin said. “Programs at the library create unforgettable memories for families. The Children’s Wednesday stage events in the amphitheater feel like dreams.”

Ken Broad and his wife Jackie, whose leadership continues to strengthen the library’s extensive film collection, are again co-hosting. Ken Broad said, “Our beautiful public library, nestled creekside among the redwoods, is just one of Mill Valley’s many cultural gems worthy of community financial support. We are all very fortunate to live in such a wonderful place.”

Music producer Tom Corwin, an organizer of the event, said, "The library reminds us to slow down, take a breath and discover new worlds through the extraordinary power of the written word."

Heather Young, a member of the Mill Valley library’s board of trustees, highlighted the importance of the fundraiser.

“We are fortunate that, when allocating public funding, our city council has recognized how important the library is to our community. But in these times, when cities across the country face tough choices, we are also fortunate to be able to rely on private funding to provide additional programs and resources that help make our library among the very best in the Bay Area.”

The 411: Beyond the Book Bash is Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. at the . For more information, go to the foundation's website and click here to buy tickets.

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