Romero Britto artwork created especially for the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy

Celebration of Reading in Florida, 2014 – A great success!

February 13, 2015 , Save the date!

The Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa - Bonita Springs, Florida

Buy Tickets Sponsorship Information Author Information Celebration Committee Photo Gallery Student Writing Contest

corjebThe 14th annual Celebration of Reading in Florida, hosted by former Governor Jeb Bush and Columba Bush, along with a host of terrific best-selling authors was an enormous success. The annual fundraiser was held February 14th and raised more than $1-million to support opportunities for America’s young children and their parents to learn together. First Lady Barbara Bush and President Bush greeted and thanked our generous supporters via Skype from their home in Houston.

FCOR2014StudentBreakfastThe day kicked off with our Celebration Breakfast for winners of our annual Celebration Student Writing Contest open to elementary students in the SW Florida area. The 2014 Student Contest winners are posted here. Florida First Lady Ann Scott was on hand to give the student writers a big round of applause!

For the evening program, authors wowing the crowd included Teri Hatcher (via Skype due to weather-related travel issues) actress and author of Burnt Toast: And Other Philosophies of Life, Eric Draper, author of Front Row Seat: A Photographic Portrait of the Presidency of George W. Bush, Debbie Macomber, No. 1 New York Times bestselling author with more than 170 million copies in print, and Mary Pope Osborne, author of children’s book series Magic Tree House.

The Celebration of Reading evening program and gourmet dinner is always a sell-out event. More to come for the next Florida Celebration event set for Friday, February 13th, 2015.


Sponsorship Information – Florida

Sponsored tables and tickets are available at various prices. For more detailed sponsor benefits and ticket information click HERE.

Our 2014 Sponsorship Commitment Form is available HERE.

Thank you to all our 2014 Celebration Sponsors. View the list HERE.

Author Information

We had a spectacular lineup of celebrity and best-selling authors on tap for the 2014 Florida Celebration including Teri Hatcher, Eric Draper, Debbie Macomber and Mary Pope Osborne. Please read more about them below.  Additional authors will be announced soon.


Teri Hatcher is best known for her television roles as Susan Mayer on the ABC comedy-drama series, “Desperate Housewives” and Lois Lane of “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.”

For her work on Desperate Housewives, Hatcher won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress and three Screen Actors Guild Awards, as well as a Primetime Emmy nomination.

Actress, presenter and former NFL cheerleader, Hatcher added author to her resume with the bestselling book Burnt Toast: And Other Philosophies of Life. Her book is a personal, heartfelt and often very funny manifesto on life, love and the lessons we all need to learn. Hatcher tells her story in the hope that her foibles and insights might inspire and motivate other women, as she opens up about the little moments that have sustained her through good times and bad.


Author of “Front Row Seat: A Photographic Portrait of the Presidency of George W. Bush,” Eric Draper served as the chief photographer for the entire eight years, photographing the president daily in his activities at the office, abroad and in his personal life. Draper was named Special Assistant to the President, and is the first White House photographer to be named a commissioned officer to a U.S. president. Also during his tenure, Draper directed the photographic and archival conversion of the White House Photo Office from film to digital and took nearly 1 million photos documenting the presidency.

Prior to joining the White House, Draper was West Regional Enterprise Photographer for the Associated Press. In eight years with the AP, Draper covered an array of domestic and international news and sports including presidential campaigns, devastating natural disasters around the globe, civil unrest in third world countries, refugee crises abroad, five Olympic games, two World Cups and many NBA, NFL and MLB championships. Draper has also worked as a staff photographer for The Seattle Times, the Pasadena Star-News and the Albuquerque Tribune.

Draper is currently a freelance political, corporate and editorial photographer based in Rio Rancho, New Mexico where he lives with his wife and three dogs. His clients include the George W. Bush Institute, HP, The Heritage Foundation, the Mayo Clinic, the New York Times, Reuters, Getty Images and individual clients.


Debbie Macomber is a No. 1 New York Times bestselling author and one of today’s most popular writers with more than 170 million copies in print worldwide. Macomber brings to life the compelling relationships that embrace family, community and enduring friendships, filling her readers with a sense of love and hope.

Macomber is the author of more than 100 novels, most recently, Starry NightRose Harbor in Bloom and Starting Now. She’s also authored two bestselling cookbooks, numerous inspirational and nonfiction works, two acclaimed children’s books and the Mrs. Miracle Christmas novels. She is also the author of the Cedar Cove book series, currently a Hallmark Channel television series.

Macomber is the recipient of RT Book Reviews Lifetime Achievement Award, and is a multiple winner of both the Holt Medallion and the B. Dalton Award. In 2010, the Romance Writers of America presented Macomber with their prestigious Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award.



Mary Pope Osborne is best known for writing the popular Magic Tree House series.

Born into a military family gifted Osborne with an adventurous spirit. By the time she was 15 she had lived in Oklahoma, Austria, Florida, North Carolina and four different army posts in Virginia. Once Osborne’s family finally settled down in North Carolina she craved the exploration of her old life and began participating in local theatre.

After graduating from the University of North Carolina, Osborne lived an intensely varied life, from living in caves, traveling out to the “East”, working as a window dresser, a medical assistant and a Russian travel consultant. After returning home, Osborne fell in love and married her husband Will Osborne. Shortly after, Osborne began writing a story about an 11-year-old girl from the South that closely resembled herself.

Now, 24 years and 80 books later, Osborne takes daily journeys with her friends Jack and Annie, from the Magic Tree House Series, to different times and places. There are currently 36 books of fiction and 13 non-fiction books in the Magic Tree House series, and Osborne says she doesn’t think she’ll ever run out of places to travel in her imagination.

Mary will help us host the Celebration Student Writing Contest winners and their parents at our 2014 Celebration Student Breakfast event.

Celebration Committee

Honorary Chairs

  • Jeb and Columba Bush

Honorary Committee

  • Paul  Anderson, Tampa Port Authority
  • Carol Jenkins Barnett, Publix Super Markets Charities
  • Romero Britto, International Pop Artist and Artistic Activist
  • Sandra & Jeb Bush Jr., Spokespersons for Barbara Bush Foundation
  • Gary Chartrand, State Board of Education
  • Peter Jacobsen, PGA Tour Professional
  • Fred & Autumn Karlinsky, Attorney, Parents, and Champions for Reading
  • Tom Kuntz, SunTrust
  • Brad & Cori Meltzer, Best-Selling Author and Literacy Advocates
  • Adam Putnam, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture
  • Sharon Robinson, Educator, Writer, Parent
  • Art Smith, Award-Winning Chef 

Celebration Co-Chairs

  • Tom and Ann Grady
  • Fred and Stephanie Pezeshkan

Celebration Hosts

  • Samira K. Beckwith and Jim Sievers
  • Alan Florez
  • The Honorable Dudley and Barbara Goodlette
  • Laird A.  Lile
  • Senator Garrett and Diana Richter
  • Raquel A. “Rocky” Rodriguez, Esq.

What We Do

We prepare children for school and help their parents improve their literacy skills by providing access to high-quality family literacy programs nationwide.