Author, photographer Rosenthal featured at Chatham Literacy’s event

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Participants at Chatham Literacy’s “Spring for Literacy” luncheon, held last Tuesday at Governors Club in Chapel Hill, described author John Rosenthal’s reading at the event as “most extraordinary and poignant.”

Rosenthal’s memoir, “Searching for Amylu Danzer,” was the focus of the afternoon event. Rosenthal described the work, which took years for him to write, as a book about many things — including love, loss, friendship and the persistence of memory.

Vickie Newell, Chatham Literacy’s executive director, said audience members were mesmerized by his story, drawing them into his account of his relationship with a former girlfriend in his youth who took her own life.

Rosenthal began his presentation by showing some of his professional photographs, many of which hang in galleries across the country. He described each photograph, sharing the story behind his art. He then talked about his motivation for writing “Searching for Amylu Danzer,” reading excerpts from the highly acclaimed book.

The event drew 175 attendees and raised over $37,000 for Chatham Literacy’s adult literacy services.

Sponsors included:

• Platinum-level Sponsors: Governors Club and Mountaire Farms.

• Gold-level Sponsors: Chatham News + Record, Edward Jones, Galloway Ridge at Fearrington and Wren Foundation

Silver-level Sponsors: Baba Antique Wooden Flooring, Carolina Meadows,

Julie Cummins and Lonnie West with Chatham Homes Realty, Duke Energy, In honor of Inez Pearson and Reynolds & Associates Physical Therapy.

Bronze-Level Sponsors: Katy McReynolds & Allie Russell with Chatham Homes Realty Triangle Team, Chatham Park, Mill House Properties, Dr. Tammy Severt, Orthodontist in Chapel Hill & Pittsboro and The Sycamore at Chatham Mills

Media Sponsor: Chatham Magazine

The event also featured testimonies from a Chatham Literacy tutoring team Patricia Corona Branch, and her tutor, Lee McLean. They shared their stories about how tutoring has made a difference in their lives.

Corona Branch became a U.S. citizen with McLean’s help and is continuing her learning journey with enrollment in an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) class. Her new goal is to be promoted into a supervisory position at her job.

Chatham Literacy will host author Jason Mott at its “Fall for Literacy” luncheon on Nov. 5. Ticketing information will be available soon.

Mott’s novel “Hell of a Book” was the 2021 winner of the National Book Award for Fiction. It’s a story that goes to the heart of racism, police violence and the hidden costs exacted upon Black Americans and America as a whole.

For more information about Chatham Literacy, visit their website.  

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