Bluffton, Ohio – Shirley’s Gourmet Popcorn Company will release a free original illustrated children’s book this November, created by a local author and award-winning illustrator, CEO Pete Suter announced.
Penned by debut author Dan Stanowick of Bluffton and illustrated by University of Findlay graduate Jenny Hanf ’16 of Findlay, “Timothy Troyer Tries Toast” tells the story of a kid entrepreneur’s efforts to raise funds for his local library by selling toast at the end of his driveway, including several challenges and discoveries along the way.
“When we launched this project, our main goal was to create a book not only that children would enjoy, but that also was strongly rooted in our core values,” said Suter. “Readers will recognize that connection through the inventive story and beautifully expressive illustrations.”
According to Suter, Shirley’s core value of personnel development and fostering internal talent played a key role in commissioning the book’s creators. “We had submissions from authors and illustrators from around the country,” said Suter. “The icing on the cake was when we learned that our two finalists were not only local, but also had strong connections to Shirley’s.”
In fact, nearly two years in the making, is part of Shirley’s continuing commitment to reading, said Suter. Since 2014, Shirley’s stores have presented more than $35,000 to reading and literacy programs in their communities, and the Shirley’s National Reading Month program inspired 3,800 children to log more than 22,000 hours of reading in 2017 alone.
“This outstanding original children’s book is yet another way we continue to honor Shirley’s legacy of support for reading and literacy,” said Suter.
Free copies of “Timothy Troyer Tries Toast” will be presented to customers during Shirley’s annual Customer Appreciation Weekend, Nov. 3-5 at all six locations. Additionally, Stanowick and Hanf will be signing copies on Saturday, Nov. 4 at the flagship Bluffton store from 10 a.m. to noon and at the Lima location from 1-3 p.m.
Customers can find Customer Appreciation Weekend store hours and details for individual store promotions including free gift cards, prizes and giveaways, on Facebook or by contacting their local store.
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