NARRAGANSETT — Thanks to an upcoming virtual event hosted by the GFWC Women’s Club of South County, participants can dive into the recent publications of local and regional novelists while giving back to the community. Now in its 21st year, the Club’s major fundraiser, the annual Book and Author Luncheon, takes to Zoom to introduce new books and the writers behind them while bolstering the organization’s charitable work of awarding grants and providing scholarships.
While traditionally held at the Dunes Club in Narragansett — and not being able to take place in any capacity last year due to the pandemic — the Book and Author event made the shift to the virtual realm this year, with professional production services assisting in that process. Now, the event’s title has been revised to include “Live on Zoom!”
“Our event has been held at the Dunes Club for many years,” said Nancy DeNuccio, Book and Author co-chair. “That location alone is a big draw to potential guests. Not having the event at that location was one of the downsides of our virtual event. We also needed some professional help with the virtual nature of this year’s event and a company in Providence, Duffy and Shanley, graciously offered to help us with the logistics of holding this event on Zoom.”
On May 19 at 1 p.m., participants, all from home, can meet and chat with three authors about their recently published books, participate in a themed basket raffle and feel good knowing that 100 percent of the proceeds will go back into the local community. The event will feature an introduction from The Rhode Show’s Michaela Johnson.
The event serves as the annual major fundraiser for the GFWC Women’s Club of South County, and allows the club to award grants to local nonprofit organizations in the areas of the arts, conservation, education and social services. Proceeds will also go on to benefit the club’s scholarship program, which helps local women in need continue educational pursuits.
“During the pandemic, many of the non-profits were closed down and unable to do their charitable work,” said DeNuccio. “They also were not receiving funding from many of their usual sources, including GFWC Women’s Club of South County, because we were unable to hold our event last year. Their collective work directly impacts our community and by not having those resources available, our community suffered. Many more people were struggling during the last 13 months or so.”
“One of the unique challenges were the lack of volunteers to help each and every non-profit fulfill their mission,” DeNuccio continued. “Our organization alone spends much of our time identifying and supplying volunteers for many of these organizations and our members were unable to meet those needs due to our inability to volunteer. One upshot of the pandemic may have been for women at home who were able to pinpoint a new path for themselves and were in need of scholarships to return to school. We will now be able to provide some of those scholarships.”
This year’s featured authors and their books are diverse and intriguing. In “The Doctor Broad, A Mafia Love Story,” Dr. Barbara Roberts of Jamestown tells her story of being cardiologist to the head of the New England Mafia. Deborah Goodrich Royce’s novel, “Ruby Falls,” is a chilling psychological thriller about a fragile, young actress plagued by childhood trauma. Goodrich Royce divides her time between the Northeast and Florida. The third author in the event is Robert Cocuzzo of Boston. His book, “The Road to San Donato,” is an adventurous travel memoir of an American father and son tracing their Italian heritage by bicycle.
The event raised $35,000 in 2019.
“We are hoping to raise as much as possible to help our community,” said Eileen Schanck, a member of the club’s Book and Author fundraising committee. “Over the last year, we have tried to help as much as possible by volunteering more hours, providing food to various groups, collecting items needed for women veterans, making masks and much more.”
Tickets are on sale now and are $40. Each ticket includes one raffle ticket; additional raffle tickets are available at 10 for $10 or 25 for $20. Ticket price is tax deductible. To purchase a ticket or for more information go to www.gfwcri.org/book-and-author-luncheon.