Press Releases

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (September 5, 2013) -- Break out the cocktail dresses and narrow ties for a chic evening and do some good to boot, by helping neighbors who struggle with reading, writing, math, computing and communicating in English. Washtenaw Literacy’s popular annual gala is donning a Mad Men theme to raise funds for its highly effective free literacy programs. This year’s event -- dubbed “Driving Literacy” and held on October 19, 6pm, at Washtenaw Community College’s Morris Lawrence Building -- features not only groovy 1960s wear, but also mobile-enabled bidding on auction items and a special guest host – the Honorable Senator Carl Levin.

Senator Levin’s top priority has always been the economic well-being of Michigan families and he understands the foundational role adult literacy plays in a strong Michigan workforce and economy,” said Amy Goodman, executive director of Washtenaw Literacy. “We’re thrilled to have his involvement in this fantastic evening.”


photos by Scott Maynard

“Driving Literacy” is a full evening with gourmet strolling dinner and desserts as well as fine wine, craft beer and retro cocktails. Live and silent auctions enable guests to bid on more than 100 unique items and packages – vacations, tours, spa days and more. While the event’s signature fast and fun live auction will again close the evening, guests can keep an eye on their silent auctions throughout the evening, bid and pay for their won items on mobile devices with a new interactive feature from BidPal. (Kiosks will be available for those who want to be phone- and tablet-free for the evening.) Select auction items will be available for online bidding beginning Friday, October 4. Guests and fans can watch auction block build and buy tickets at the Driving Literacy website.

While the Mad Men-themed 1960s cocktail attire is optional, Washtenaw Literacy is making it easy to get in the spirit and the real thing by teaming with Ann Arbor’s own The Get Up Vintage to bring you vintage closthes and accessories straight from the 1960s.  A pop-up Mad Men store  is planned before the gala on September 25th from 5:30 to 7:00 PM at Vellum Restaurant, 209 South Main Street, Ann Arbor.  

Tickets for Driving Literacy are on sale now and are $85 when purchased on or before September 27th -- $100 thereafter. Reserved tables of eight are available for $680. Guests can purchase tickets online at, by phone by calling (734) 879 -1320, or via email via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


About Driving Literacy 

Driving Literacy (formerly known as World in a Basket) is Washtenaw Literacy's annual gala benefit auction. It takes place in late September or October every year. Twenty percent of Washtenaw Literacy’s annual budget is raised through the event, providing support to train hundreds of tutors and volunteers who serve more than 2,000 adults each year. Adults work toward individual goals; many of those include getting a GED and/or a place in the workforce. Remarkably, Washtenaw Literacy returns more than three dollars to the community for each dollar raised (Hantz, Rhoades & Doehrer, LLC, 2011).

Want to lend a hand? In order to make Driving Literacy a success, volunteers are needed in several areas:

·         Solicit donations of items and goods from businesses to be auctioned

·         Seek corporate event sponsors

·         Assemble and decorate baskets of auction items

·         Set-up for the event

·         Help during the event

Contact Amy Goodman at (734) 879-1320 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information or to volunteer.