“Sip In The Gorge”, the annual fundraiser for Wasco and Hood River counties’ Start Making A Reader Today program, returns Thursday, Feb. 28.

Local restaurants will provide savory and sweet items fresh from their kitchens and purveyors of beer, wine, cider and other beverages will serve their wares.

This is the second annual event and is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. at Hood River Hotel, First and Oak streets, Hood River, in the remodeled basement ballroom.

Attendees will sample small plates and locally made beverages in a casual setting.

SMART volunteers will be on hand to give a short presentation and informally answer questions about how to support SMART in the Gorge — financially or by volunteering.

The program serves Dry Hollow and Colonel Wright Elementary schools in The Dalles.

The SMART approach is simple: Children read provided books for half an hour weekly with adult volunteers, and also choose two books monthly to take home and keep. SMART Book Packs representing one year’s supply of take-home books for a child will be displayed, and Sip attendees can additionally support SMART by sponsoring one or more book packs.

Sponsors will be entered in a raffle for several quality prizes to take home from Sip.

Tickets are $25 and all proceeds go to support literacy services for over 140 Hood River County and Wasco County youths in Pre-K through third grade.

Tickets are sold at the door or in advance at bit.ly/2019SipInTheGorge.

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