Walt Whitman Benefit For Literacy Gala
Thursday, October 7, 2010, Oheka Castle, Huntington, New York

Celebrating the Vision of Walt Whitman and The Champions of Literacy

Date:  Thursday, October 7, 2010

Place:  Oheka Castle 135 West Gate Drive, Huntington, New York 11743

Time: 6:30 PM – 10:30 PM

Cocktails – Dinner – Dancing – Raffles

Gala ticket – $250          Guest Table – $2,500

Buy Your Ticket Now

A celebration of the Champions of Literacy at magnificent Oheka Castle and to participate in a fun-filled evening. Walt Whitman Birthplace Association will recognize three Champions of Literacy for their dedication and commitment to Whitman’s vision of keeping the literary arts alive.

Walt Whitman Birthplace Association is proud to honor our 2010 Champions of Literacy:

Ray Bradbury – Literary Achiever

Prolific author Ray Bradbury is one of those rare individuals whose writing has changed the way people think. His more than five hundred published works — short stories, novels, plays, screenplays, television scripts, and verse — exemplify the American imagination at its most creative.

Once read, his words are never forgotten. His best-known and most beloved books, The Martian Chronicles, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and Fahrenheit 451, are masterworks that readers carry with them over a lifetime. His timeless, constant appeal to audiences young and old has proven him to be one of the truly classic authors of the 20th Century — and the 21st.

Bradbury, now 90, advises young writers to write one story a week, as he has done since age 15.

Tracey A. Edwards – Individual Leader

Tracey Edwards is vice president – New York Operations at Verizon Communications. Tracey and her 4000 member team are responsible for customer operations for FiOS TV, Internet and landline services for the Long Island, Westchester, Upstate New York and portions of Connecticut. Tracey joined the company in 1979 as a summer hire operator and she has held various positions in Customer Service, Information Technology, Network Services, and Human Resources. Outside of Verizon, Tracey is involved in various community, civic and political organizations.

Tracey currently serves as the Long Island Regional Director of the NAACP. Tracey is also on the Board of Director’s for the Long Island Association, a member of the Melville Lion’s club, and the Suffolk County chapter of the National Council of Black Women. Tracey’s passion is education of our youth. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of C.W. Post College and retired as the Vice President of the Elwood Board of Education in Huntington, NY after 10 years.

She has received awards and recognition from various governmental officials and civic organizations for her work in the community, including the LI Business News’ Top 50 Most Influential Women in Business for 2008 and The Long Island Press Top 50 Most Influential and Powerful People for 2010. Tracey and her husband Walter reside in Dix Hills, NY and are blessed with three children: Tyrell, Walter Jr., and Kimberly and one grandson, Troy Adam.

NY State Assemblyman Steve Englebright – Education and Cultural Arts Advocate

Steve Englebright brings his extensive experience as a scientist and an educator, as well as his passion for history and heritage to his position as New York State Assemblyman for the 4th District in Suffolk County. And as Chair of the NYS Assembly Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development, Englebright knows how important the tourism industry is to Long Island and New York State as a whole.

In 2009 Englebright created new law which increased the lodging fee and brought Suffolk into parity with Nassau County. A portion of these revenues is used to fund the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum and the Walt Whitman Birthplace, which is Suffolk’s most celebrated international tourist destination.

Assemblyman Englebright knows how critical these “institutions of optimism” are to our region’s economy as tourism destinations and also understands how important they are as integral parts of our shared national heritage.


The Walt Whitman Birthplace is a New York State Historic Site open to the public on Long Island. It is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. WWBA aims to create a greater passion for reading and writing through exhibits, tours, and educational and cultural events. Over 7,000 teachers and students and 14,000 local, national and international visit the site each year.

All proceeds benefit WWBA Educational Programs.

Additional info: Susie: 631.427.5240 ext.112, events@waltwhitman.org

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