“Reaching Out ... An Evening of Celebration” will be held May 2 at the Santa Maria Country Club at 505 W. Waller Lane.

This fundraiser benefit for literacy on the Central Coast is the second annual and is named for the books and philosophy of Dr. Francisco Jimenez, who centered his autobiographical works on Santa Maria. This year, the event honoree is author Pam Munoz Ryan, the 2007 Author Recipient of the National Education Association’s Human and Civil Rights Award. She has written more than 30 books for youth, including Esperanza Rising, Paint the Wind, and Mice and Beans.

Sammy Labastida, Robert Labastida, Ronnie Labastida, and Clifford Labastida are the 2009 Reaching Out award recipients.

The gourmet dinner will feature a reading and presentation by Ryan. The event costs $80 per person or $150 per couple and includes an autographed copy of Becoming Naomi Leon.

For more information, call Becky Bendele at 928-3573, Dr. Carolyn Baldiviez at 925-8112, or Carmen Vadillo at 925-6713.

Arts Briefs is compiled by Shelly Cone. Information should be sent to the Sun via fax, e-mail, or mail.

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