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Polaritaville fundraiser in Detroit Lakes raises $7,600 for local pre-K reading program

The 2022 Polaritaville fundraiser, hosted by the Lakes Area Parrot Heads at Shorewood Pub in Detroit Lakes, raised more than $7,600 for the Lakes Area Imagination Library on Feb. 25.

20220225_180715.jpg
Amy Erickson, center, director of the Lakes Area Imagination Library, and Tiffany Walz smile for a photo while sitting at the sign-in table during the Polaritaville fundraiser, hosted by the Lakes Area Parrot Heads, at the Shorewood Pub in Detroit Lakes on Feb. 25, 2022. The raffles and on-site prize drawings raised more than $7,600 for the Lakes Area Imagination Library, a program that provides one book per month to children up five years old.
(Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune)
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With a seven-day trip to Cabo, a large gas grill and $108 worth of shrimp on the line as potential prizes, more than 250 raffle tickets were sold and $7,600 was raised for the Lakes Area Imagination Library .

The 2022 Polaritaville fundraising event, hosted by the Lakes Area Parrot Heads, filled Shorewood Pub in Detroit Lakes on Feb. 25 to benefit a pre-K reading program aimed at getting a new book into the hands of kids under 5 years old each month, with a hope it will help build reading skills for new students as they enter elementary school.

Amy Erickson, director of the Lakes Area Imagination Library, said the Becker County chapter of the Imagination Library started in 2011.

"For every $25 we raise, a kid in Becker County gets a book every month for a year," said Erickson. "It works out to about $2 per book and that includes the cost of delivery. The books get delivered directly to the kid's homes ... all they have to do is sign-up and everything is taken care of beyond that."

Currently, the Lakes Area Imagination Library has about 1,150 kids enrolled and has aged-out more than 3,000 kids in the last 10 years, she said.

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The program was started by county music superstar Dolly Parton and, to date, has registered more than 1.9 million children and provided 174,670,526 books to those kids since 1995, according to the group's website . The Imagination Library program has also expanded worldwide to include Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and the Republic of Ireland.

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Amy Erickson, director of the Lakes Area Imagination Library, speaks to a patron filling out their raffle ticket during the Polaritaville fundraiser, hosted by the Lakes Area Parrot Heads, at the Shorewood Pub in Detroit Lakes on Feb. 25, 2022. The raffles and on-site prize drawings raised more than $7,600 for the Lakes Area Imagination Library, a program that provides one book per month to children up five years old.
(Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune)

Erickson said, "(Dolly Parton) started it, and she underwrites it, she promotes it, and she has concerts to fund it. She's an amazing human being."

Raffle tickets for the event were $25 and the top prizes were: a seven-night stay in Cabo Villas Beach Resort and Spa; a Pit Boss Ultimate Gas Griddle; and a $108 Margaritaville Shrimp Feast.

The winners were:

  • Lanette Corbett (Cabo trip)
  • Charlene Schalthies (gas grill)
  • Lori Jorschum (shrimp package)

According to a post on the Lakes Area Parrot Heads Facebook page , a special shout out goes to Char Schultheis, who won the gas grill, but decided to donate the prize right back to the organization, which raised an additional $500 for the fundraiser.

Multimedia News Lead Reporter
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