Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Actress Julie Andrews Supports Jeanine Nicarico Literacy Fund

Actress's visit noteworthy for Nicarico family
Article from:The Sun - Naperville (IL) Article date:June 23, 2004Author:Donna DeFalco More results for:jeanine nicarico Literacy

It's not often that an actress as legendary as Julie Andrews Edwards comes to Naperville. But when the "Mary Poppins" and "The Sound of Music" star arrived June 6 for a presentation and book signing, she made the event special not only for those attending, but also for the Jeanine Nicarico Memorial Fund for Literacy. Through a raffle of her signed books, the evening raised $1,200 for the memorial fund.
A few months ago, Pat Nicarico saw Andrews Edwards and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, appearing on "The Today Show" to talk about a new series of books they had written.

Andrews Edwards was talking about making sure children become lifelong readers.

"This is our philosophy," Nicarico said.

Friends and family of the Nicaricos started the Jeanine Nicarico Memorial Fund for Literacy in 1996 in memory of the 10-year-old, who was abducted from her Naperville home and murdered in 1983.

The fund, administered by the Naperville Education Foundation, promotes literacy for learners and support educators.

When the Nicaricos returned to Naperville, they heard that the star was coming to town for an event sponsored by Anderson's Bookshop. Becky Anderson Wilkins and Mary Yockey of Anderson's met Andrews Edwards last year at Book Expo America in Los Angeles. At the time, the star was launching her new line of books, called The Julie Andrews Collection, which is an imprint of publisher HarperCollins.

"Since I knew her book was coming out, I wrote a proposal to HarperCollins asking if she could come out," Wilkins said. "We wanted her so much to come."

The tickets were free for the event, where people purchased Andrews Edwards' new book, "Dragon: Hound of Honor," which she co-wrote with her daughter. After Wilkins introduced her, Andrews Edwards talked about the Nicarico Fund and keeping the light burning for Jeanine.

"She was pleased the proceeds were going to the fund," Pat Nicarico said.