9 Fall 2017 | www.htcinc.net 8 www.htcinc.net | Fall 2017 Photos provided by Russell Alston. “It’s what I love about First Book,” she explains. “Donors can rest assured that their money goes directly toward providing a child with a book.” First Book sends 100% of donations to qualified schools, mentors and daycares via a website gift card code. This means the board can request an itemized receipt and find out exactly what books were ordered. And it’s working. “Our successes are absolutely a combined effort,” says Kortnee. “These events and fundraisers are simply not possible without the whole team.” The board, which meets once per month and hosts three events a year, is always seeking people who want to help. “Anyone can get involved at any capacity they want. We are very team-oriented, and we need people who can help fuel this vehicle we’re driving.” Whether that means helping coordinate events, volunteering time or writing a check, a range of opportunities is available for individuals and businesses. As fellow community members, HTC is a proud supporter of First Book Horry County and recently sponsored the organization’s largest event to date: a luncheon with famed Lowcountry author Mary Alice Monroe. “There’s no wrong way to contribute!” says Kortnee. Leadership team members currently range in profession from academia to real estate, but they all share a common passion: helping local kids reach their full potential. “Some of us have been fortunate to have books in our lives, an advantage that not all families have,” says Mona. “It is so wonderful to see a child excited about getting a book, hugging it and saying, ‘You mean I can take it home?!'" “It’s the best feeling,” agrees Kortnee. “The look on their faces, the tears in their eyes —  First Book Horry County Board Members: Kortnee Crumpler Amanda Blomquist Megan McIlreavy Mona Prufer Pam Clifton Mike Lee Deb Warrington Liz Mansfield Russell Alston Anne Brallier Joan Grimmett Natasha McDonald Michelle Schmalfeldt Photos provided by Russell Alston. Featured speaker Celia Rivenbark. Mary Alice Monroe (left) with Mona Prufer (right). With HTC High-Speed Internet, you get faster speeds, plus free installation with no hidden equipment or Wi-Fi fees, and 24/7 local technical support. Plus, save more when you bundle your HTC High-Speed Internet service with HTC Wireless, Digital Cable, Home Phone and/or Security. The more you bundle, the more you save! www.htcinc.net • 843-369-8969 HTC High-Speed Internet available in most areas. HTC High-Speed modem provided with service, which requires certain  hardware and software device/computer minimums. Speeds may vary depending on many factors including locations,  sites, traffic and are best effort for wired connections. Prices do not include fees or taxes, and certain restrictions apply. I wish we could bottle up that feeling and share it with everyone.” The reason for the overwhelmed response is because, for these children, it’s more than a book. Often, they have little to call their own. There’s a sense of pride and empowerment that comes with having ownership, and this nonprofit believes it’s critical. At its core, First Book is gifting children with knowledge. And knowledge is power — power to read. To succeed. To rise above their circumstances. A book opens a new world for a child, one that fosters creativity and unlocks new possibilities. Reading through sweet thank-you notes from book recipients, Kortnee’s eyes glaze with tears. Purity and joy shine through the bright stickers and imperfect handwriting, and their message is clear: Thank you for giving me a chance. “That,” Kortnee concludes, “is why we do what we do.” You can make a difference in our community — to get involved, contact Kortnee Crumpler of First Book Horry County by emailing kortneeacrumpler@ gmail.com. Don’t miss First Book Horry County’s 2018 Spring Luncheon! Get more details at www.facebook.com/ firstbookhorrycounty.