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Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley to host first Great Valley BookFest

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POSTED October 16, 2012 8:20 p.m.

A red-letter day is coming on Saturday, Oct, 27, at the Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley in Manteca.

The event: the inauguration of the Great Valley BookFest. This will be a special venue for “young children, teens, and adults... eager to engage and meet both local and New York Times best-selling authors,” according to the event description by Toni Raymus of Raymus Homes in Manteca.

This inaugural BookFest is the brainchild of Raymus who lifted the idea from the AJC Decatur Book Festival, an annual book festival held near the Emory University campus on the East Coast. Last year, her older daughter who is studying at Emory introduced her to this festival.

“I was blown away by what I experienced there: author talks, book signings, cooking demos, people of all ages, interactive events, and books, books, books!” a very impressed Raymus said.

“My dream is to bring the spirit of this festival to Northern California. The festival will be a one-day event which is free and open to the public.”

In the last few months, Raymus and an inaugural committee have been busy meeting and organizing the first-ever BookFest which will be held around the picturesque water feature near the Bass Pro Shops at the Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

As of last month, a total of 28 authors from a variety of genres have committed themselves to be present at the family-friendly BookFest whose mission is to celebrate literacy and to promote “the written word in San Joaquin/Stanislaus counties and neighboring communities.”

Event sponsors are currently being sought for the following sponsorship levels: Hemingway ($10,000); Steinbeck ($5,000 to $9,999); Dickinson ($2,000 to $4,999); Hawthorne ($1,000 to $1,999); Mark Twain ($500 to $999); and J.K. Rowling ($100 to $499). Each level will come with its own advertising promotions such as having their name on the BookFest’s official web site.

Sponsors already on board include the South San Joaquin Irrigation District, Manteca Sunrise Kiwanis, Doctors Hospital of Manteca, Building Dreams Foundation, Oak Valley Community Bank, and Pak & McEwen, with the Manteca Rotary as event partner.

The members of the inaugural committee are Raymus of Raymus Hopes; Carol Davis of Give Every Child a Chance, Brunce Bentz of Raymus Hopes, Cynthia Winegarden of Manzanita Ventures, Cheryl Meeker of the Manteca Unified School District, Sally Hale of Great Valley Writing Project, Di Quaresma of Internet Video Marketing, author Maureen Minnehan Jones, Linda Abeldt of Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley, Charlie Halford of Boys & Girls Club of Manteca/Lathrop, Melissa King of Rick King Design, Gary Dei Rossi of San Joaquin County of Education, Mark Lisa of Doctors Hospital of Manteca, field representative Tamra Spade of Senate 12th District, and Manteca Branch Library Assistant Ruthanne Bassett.

For sponsorship information, contact Tamra Spade at For vendor information, contact Linda Abeldt at Or send mail to P.O. Box 2188 Manteca, CA 95336, telephone (209) 824-3080.

For further details about the story of Great Valley BookFest, visit

The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley is located at Hwy 120 Bypass at Union Road in Manteca.

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