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Literacy Advance of Houston Honors Astros Legend Larry Dierker and Wife Judy at 2014 Reader Cup

TopGolf Event Raises More Than $100,000 for literacy programs

Houston, Texas (February 24, 2014): “Imagine what your life would be like if you couldn’t read and write,” said Larry Dierker to the sold-out crowd gathered at the 2014 Reader Cup hosted by Literacy Advance of Houston. “The programs at Literacy Advance change lives,” continued Dierker. “When Mom and Dad are proficient in English, the entire family benefits.”

Dierker has first-hand experience with learners’ success at Literacy Advance as he has donated more than 1,200 hours serving as an Adult Basic Education tutor, past Board member and event volunteer for the organization. Dierker has raised more than $500,000 for the non-profit through his annual celebrity golf tournament.

During its 50th Anniversary year, Literacy Advance took the opportunity to honor Dierker by hosting the 2014 Reader Cup golf event in his and wife Judy’s honor at TopGolf Houston.

Melanie Fisk, Executive Director of Literacy Advance of Houston presented the Dierkers with a Mayoral Proclamation declaring February 20 “Larry and Judy Dierker Day” to celebrate their contributions to the organization.

A video tribute to Larry and Judy brought tears to both of their eyes. But the bottom line made everyone smile: the 2014 Reader Cup raised more than $100,000 to support literacy programs throughout the greater Houston area.

Competitive TopGolf programs TopScore and TopShot allowed dedicated golfers to shine. Emcee John Granato, nationally syndicated host of Yahoo! SportsRadio 1560 program “PrimeCut” with Sean Salsbury, captured the longest drive honors while Woody Hardy had the highest score during a TopScore competition.

Winning teams including first place Betty Johnston, followed by Stice Consulting and Pinnacle Finance Strategies.

Non-golfers had fun too, learning to hit the ball out to target points on the course. Golfers and non-golfers alike brought their competitive spirit to the acquisition of the live and silent auction items. Houston Astros’ President of Business Operations and event sponsor Reid Ryan caused the live auction crowd to roar when he sweetened the Houston Astros auction item with this statement, “I’m throwing in a Nolan Ryan autographed baseball. I’ll get one from my Mom!”

Seen in the crowd: Restaurateur Tony Masraff; Dan Pastorini, former Houston Oilers quarterback; Ashley Klaasmeyer, one of Larry and Judy’s daughters; Reid Ryan, President of Business Operations for the Houston Astros with his daughters Victoria and Ella; Betty Johnson, a sponsor and winner of the Houston Astros live auction package; Bill and Mary Bracken; Lara Bell of Absolutely magazine; Jennifer Brown; retired sportswriter Kenny Hand; Drake Schunck; Tim Toth and Jane Holston, retired ED for Literacy Advance; Tony Gallardo; Henry Torres; Susan Whitacre; Paul and Autumn Prestridge; Julie Masraff; Kristie Williams; Rob Lynch; Ted Ryan; and Michael Bybee.

White Oak Gives Back returned as Presenting Sponsor for the third year in a row. Additional sponsors include Hall of Fame sponsors Pinnacle Financial Services and Betty Johnston; Beverage sponsors Anheuser-Busch and Valence Operating Company; Awards sponsor Valiant Exploration; Hole-in-One sponsors Goya Foods and SYSCO Corporation; and returning Media sponsor - GOW Media Yahoo! SportsRadio 1560.

Team sponsors include Val Aldred; Don Baird; William and Mary Bracken; Cardinal Delivery Service; Comcast; Larry and Judy Dierker; John Dyer; FGS Consulting; Godwin Lewis; Jane Holston and Tim Toth; Houston Astros; JL Evans Communications; PPI Quality & Asset Management; Parkside Capital; Partners in Drilling; Dan Pastorini Charity; Stice Consulting; and TopGolf Houston.

Reader Cup Host Committee members included: Val Aldred; Don Baird; William Bracken; Kimberli Bowman; John Dyer; Ruben Elustondo; Rob Lynch; Kelleyne Mackey; Ted Ryan; Farrell Smith; and Libbi Smith.

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About Literacy Advance of Houston

Founded in 1964, Literacy Advance of Houston is an education and workforce development organization providing free literacy and work readiness classes to adults. All classes are delivered by trained volunteer tutors at 30 locations across the greater Houston area. By focusing on workforce and life skills development, students are provided the tools to transform their lives, families and communities through the doorway of literacy.

Literacy Advance is a United Way of Greater Houston agency, an accredited affiliate of the Houston Center for Literacy and ProLiteracy, and a member of Literacy Texas and the Better Business Bureau. For more, explore this website, “Like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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