Dress White Event to Benefit Children’s Literacy
CONROE, TX – It’s time for the Annual Dress White Linen Party hosted by Children’s Books on Wheels (CBOW). Although it started many years ago as a theme for the rich and powerful to raise funds for charity, the Dress White event hopes anyone with a passion for literacy attends the event. Students that have access to books for reading on a daily basis will perform better on reading and writing tests than non-reading students, with increased opportunity for success in their life.
The 6th Annual CBOW Dress White Linen Party will have live music from Ray Parsee’s Allstars Review featuring Leslie Lugo and Thomas “Songbird” Dickerson on Saturday, August 31st from 7:30 pm until 11:30 pm at the Sleepy Hollow Multipurpose Building, 9845 Sleepy Hollow Road in Tamina. A $35 donation contributes to funding literacy programs throughout the county with CBOW mobile literacy services. Funding from the Dress White Linen Party will assist with access to literacy for children and help cover operation costs for the CBOW after school program weekdays for 40 school age children Pre-K to 12th grade.
“This is our midyear effort to support mobile literacy programs for children in our communities. Since CBOW serves the entire county, funding is greatly needed. People in Montgomery County have a big heart,” said Rita Wiltz.
Rita Wiltz, founder and Executive Director of CBOW, established the mobile nonprofit organization in 2004 to bring reading to children in all areas where they live that may not have access to books. Seventy five percent of the population served by CBOW are at or below the poverty level. Wiltz and her team travel to community events, churches, businesses, and other non-profits in north, south, east and west counties. The after school site for the YMCA is hosted by CBOW along with Summer Reading Projects to donate books to children and their families at no cost. Each year about 5,000 books are distributed.
The 6th Annual Dress White Party is proud to announce two couples that have given much to CBOW. The honorees this year are Eric and Dr. Courtney Banks, with Roger and Natalie Goertz.
“As consistent sponsors of CBOW, the Board and I wanted to honor these couples for their donations and time focused on supporting the literacy projects in our rural community”, said Wiltz. “Our unique Annual Dress White Party for a cause will help us to continue to provide outreach services under our three components: educational, financial and health literacy.”
Courtney Swisher Banks received her Ph.D. in School Psychology from Texas A&M University, specializing in Prevention Science. She is an Assistant Professor of School Psychology and a licensed psychologist at Sam Houston State University. Her focus is research involving home and school engagement in K-12 schools, parent socialization of education and behavior engagement, and examining ecological factors that influence bullying.
Dr. Banks has been married to her husband Eric for 11 years and the two have three wonderful children: Camille, 8 years old, EJ 6 years old, and Cydni who is 3 months old.
Eric Banks has been in education for 13 years, currently serving as the Gifted and Talented Instructional Coach for Conroe ISD. Previously, he has served as an elementary and middle school teacher, a K-8 Instructional Coach, and a STEM Instructional Specialist, in the Lancaster, Cedar Hill, Bryan, and Dallas Independent School Districts respectively. Prior to working in Conroe ISD, he was a Lesson Study Specialist for the ESC in Region 6. Banks earned a B.S. from Texas A&M University and an M.B.A. from University of Phoenix.
Dr. Banks and her husband have been volunteers of CBOW for many years. Both are devoted to educating and mentoring children from the after school program. Dr Banks is on the leadership development team for CBOW mothers and daughters. She also volunteered for Project Camp Noah in Tamina as the Mental Health Specialist for all 45 children that attended.
“Working with Children’s Books on Wheels continues to be extremely rewarding,” said Dr. Banks. “I am able to support youth and adults within the community who instantly become extended family members. Rita Wiltz is such a blessing to the community, and I appreciate all of the initiatives CBOW provides to promote wellness and best selves.”
Natalie and Roger Goertz are a dynamic duo of longtime champions of literacy initiatives in Montgomery County. Upon taking the position as Executive Vice President of Mr. Rooter® in September of 2014 with husband Roger, (President) Goertz quickly branded herself as the “Mrs. to the Mr. at Mr. Rooter Plumbing” and took the plumbing industry by storm. After receiving multiple offers from banks to be a part of their “Treasury Management Team,” Goertz joined Guaranty Bank & Trust in March serving as Senior Vice President in a dual capacity role of Treasury Management Officer and Community Development Officer.
Roger Goertz worked in corporate positions until June 2003 when he acquired an existing Mr. Rooter plumbing franchise in August 2003. It started with 4 service vehicles and Goertz built the business up to a fleet of 16 vehicles in 16 years. He sold the business August 1. “I have been President of five Corporations in my past 50 years of business experience plus a Small Business Owner and “business builder” 16 years!” said Goertz.
“More than a handful of years ago, we began donating a dozen or so hams and turkeys to Children’s Books on Wheels the week of Thanksgiving for clients of CBOW”, said Natalie Goertz. The turkey donation has continued with other donations of high-quality furniture, a fridge/freezer and endless business casual and business professional men’s and women’s clothing.
One of the reasons Roger and Natalie chose to become involved with Children’s Books on Wheels is they believe their clientele is an underserved population in the community.
“Children’s Books on Wheels is more than just bridging the literacy gap through delivering free books to under serviced children in the Montgomery County area. They have expanded their services to support other nonprofits by providing struggling families with a variety of free services, such as after-school programing, financial literacy and government assistance. Their efforts spoke to our hearts and that’s why we wanted to become involved.”
The Sleepy Hollow Multipurpose Building is the location for the Dress White Event located at 9845 Sleepy Hollow Road in Conroe (Tamina) 77385. Dancing, music, and soft bites will be provided with each donation of $35. Sponsors to date are HEB and Party City. Sponsorships are available at several levels starting at $750. For tickets contact Rita Wiltz at (281) 844-7596 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations may be mailed to 330 Rayford Road, #201, Spring, Texas 77385.
The mission of Children’s Books on Wheels is to promote literacy by providing books and educational literature to Pre-K through 12 grade children and their families. Other services Children’s Books On Wheels provide include assistance of social services in multiple languages to the unserved and underserved. Free year-round tax services by IRS certified volunteers at 18 mobile tax sites is available at no charge for eligible individuals including community resources and referral information. CBOW provides awareness literature for HIV-Aids, Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Awareness, Domestic Violence , and offers free classes in OSHA 30 and Confined Space Certifications. CBOW is proud to work in collaboration with community leaders and organizations for Children’s Books On Wheels Roots of Change Alcohol Coalition which will focus on drinking while driving and underage drinking. Learn more about Children’s Books on Wheels by visiting their Facebook page www.facebook.com/cbow.childrensbooksonwheels.