LARCHMONT, N.Y. The Westchester Chapter of Room to Read raised $20,000 at its Rally for Reading Luncheon Wednesday, enough money to build three new libraries and serve three new school communities in developing countries. That will add to the 12,500 libraries and 1,400 schools the global nonprofit organization, which intends to raise children and communities out of poverty by increasing literacy, has already built in nine countries in Asia and Africa since its inception in 2000. The Westchester Chapter launched in late 2010. At Wednesday's luncheon, the first major fundraising event, the group held a silent auction and raffle, which drove large participation from the approximately 200 attending the $50 event. The 53 volunteer chapters, spanning 16 countries around the world, contribute one-third of the revenue for its operating budget. In 2010 alone, the 501(c)3 nonprofit raised $12 million, said Erin Ganju, CEO and co-founder of Room To Read. "Room to Read started off as a very humble operation, just bringing books to read for children in Nepal 10 years ago," said Karen Khor, media relations for Room To Read. "It has since grown into a global organization that's helping millions of children." Not only is Room To Read bringing books to fill the shelves in libraries it has built, but it is also training local authors and publishing their work to foster an environment for growth. Ganju said the organization donated its 10 millionth book in 2011 and now publish books in 23 languages. "It sounds very worthwhile, and I see a lot of the people I believe in involved, so I support it," said Jennifer Mulhabe, co-president of the Mamaroneck PTA Council. Don't forget to Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
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