Preakness Palooza benefits United Way’s Imagination Library

The third annual Preakness Palooza recently took place at Evolution Craft Brewing Co. to benefit United Way’s Imagination Library program.

The event, hosted by Brad Sutliffe and Dean Goodwin of RPS ISG International, attracted more than 125 attendees and highlighted 25 “Jockey” and “Thoroughbred” sponsors from area companies.

Some $9,450 was raised to distribute books to local children.

Sutliffe, director of Employee Benefit Solutions at RPS ISG International and co-coordinator of the event, has two young children involved in the Imagination Library program.

“It is a great joy to watch their excitement on a month-to-month basis as they run to the mailbox and open their books,” he said. “It truly makes all the hard work worth it.”

Established in May 2012, United Way’s Imagination Library is a literacy program providing free, home-delivered books to local children ages birth to five.

The event’s proceeds will supply 3,800 books to be distributed this year among the homes of 315 children in Worcester, Wicomico, Somerset and Dorchester counties.

Imagination Library has more than 1,600 local children enrolled, 450 graduates and almost 26,000 books delivered to date.

“Our United Way has experienced a heartwarming response to this program,” said United Way Assistant Director Amy Luppens.

“We are so grateful to the Preakness Palooza organizers and sponsors for enabling us to provide these books to the local at-risk children that need them the most,” she said.

 In 2013, United Way impacted local lives by providing over $1 million to community programs and helped over 70,000 individuals.

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