Tuesday would have been Dorena Marshall’s 66th birthday, the lifelong Newton resident died two years ago of leukemia. Marshall’s daughter, Jody Stiles, wanted to find a way to combine two of Marshall’s biggest passions, reading and giving.
“She loved reading — she was in numerous book clubs and loved encouraging others to read,” Stiles said. “She was also a giver — she was constantly giving her time, talents and money to organizations she supported and those who needed it.”
On Tuesday, she’ll donate $1 to the library at Aurora Heights Elementary School for everyone who takes a picture of themselves reading a book and uploads it to the Facebook page. In addition, Stiles will donate $2 to the library for every student who takes a picture of themselves reading a book.
“It’s a chance to honor my mom and the hobby she loved the most on what would have been her 66th birthday,” Stiles said. “It’s so easy — read, snap a pic, post it to the page.”
In an effort to make the donation as big as possible, Stiles is promoting the event on social media, even inviting teacher friends to upload pictures of their classrooms during reading time. Stiles choose Aurora Heights because that’s where she went to school and where her daughter Sadie is currently a first-grader. As an elementary student, Stiles remembers her mom being a constant presence in the classroom, coming in to volunteer and serving on the Parent Teacher Association. While Marshall died before she got a chance to see her granddaughter, Sadie start school at Aurora Heights, Stiles knows she would’ve been thrilled.
“I know she would’ve appreciated how much Sadie loves her school library,” Stiles said. “I want to make a donation in my mom’s honor so that even more kids can experience the joy of reading and using their school library.”
Stiles said she’s not sure how many people will upload a picture on Tuesday, a friend has pledged to match her donation, and she’s hoping to raise as much money as possible for the library. She’s planning on taking the day off so she can keep an eye on the Facebook page, as well as have lunch with her daughter, at Aurora Heights.
“I’d love to see a ton of people reading so I can make a huge donation to the school library,” Stiles said.
For more details check out the Facebook event Readers Remembering Dorena (https://www.facebook.com/events/185720485491170/).
Contact David Dolmage at 641-792-3121 ext. 6532 or firstname.lastname@example.org