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Celebration of Reading in Florida

Date: February 16, 2018

Location: Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa

Author Information Celebration Committee Student Essay Contest


The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy presents the 17th Annual Florida Celebration of Reading on Friday, February 16, 2018. Since 2001, the Florida Celebration of Reading, founded by former Governor Jeb Bush and his wife, Columba, has raised more than $26 million in support of family literacy programs that help children and their parents improve their literacy skills.

Celebration of Reading activities include a private, intimate luncheon for top business supporters and members of the Bush family; a VIP cocktail reception and photo opportunity; and the always-entertaining reading event, featuring best-selling Guest Authors followed by dinner. The host hotel is the award-winning Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa in Bonita Springs.

Funds raised from the annual Florida Celebration of Reading help support programs of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.



Our host hotel, the  Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa, is spectacular!

Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa
5001 Coconut Road, Bonita Springs, Florida, 34134
Phone (239) 444 1234


February 16, 2018

8:30 a.m. Celebration Breakfast with education leaders, Guest Authors and winners from the student essay contest
11:30 a.m. Celebration Luncheon with Bush Family & Guest Authors
(Investor Level & Higher)
5 to 5:45 p.m. VIP Reception and Photo Opportunity (Patron Level & Higher)
6 to 8:30 p.m. Celebration of Reading Event and Dinner – Calusa Ballroom
8:30 p.m. Guest Authors will sign your books – Calusa Ballroom Lobby


(All Sponsors and ticket purchasers)

5 p.m. Beer & Wine Cocktail Hour
6 p.m. Reading Event with Best-Selling Guest Authors Begins
7 p.m. Dinner
8:30 p.m. Author Book Signing Event*


*Each guest will receive a commemorative gift bag, which includes two books. Guests may elect to purchase additional books to be autographed by our authors at the on-site Barnes & Noble bookstore, where proceeds support literacy.


From Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) – Follow Terminal Access Road (East) to the intersection of Ben Hill Griffin Parkway/Treeline Avenue Extension. Turn left onto Ben Hill Griffin Parkway, and follow to Corkscrew Road (approx. 7 miles). At Corkscrew Road, turn right and follow to South Tamiami Trail (US 41) (approx 3-1/2 miles). Turn left onto S. Tamiami Trail and follow for approximately 2 miles to Coconut Road. Turn right at Coconut Road, Hyatt Regency is at the end.

From Fort Lauderdale – Follow I-75 North toward Naples for approximately 99 miles, to Exit 116 toward Bonita Springs / Gulf Beaches. Take the CR-865 West ramp toward Bonita Springs / Gulf Beaches and turn left onto Bonita Beach Road SE / CR-865 West. Turn right onto South Tamiami Trail / US-41 North / FL-45 North. Follow South Tamiami Trail northbound for 4-1/2 miles to Coconut Road intersection. At light, turn left onto Coconut Road, and follow to the Hyatt Regency.

From Tampa – Follow I-75 South, toward Naples, to Exit 123. Merge onto Corkscrew Road / CR-850 West toward Estero. Follow Corkscrew Road to Tamiami Trail / US-41 South / FL-45 South, and turn left. Stay on Tamiami Trail to Coconut Road, turn right and follow Coconut Road to the hotel.

From Orlando  – Take I-4 West toward Tampa to Exit 55. Merge onto US-27 South toward Haines City / Cypress Gardens, then turn right onto West Main Street / FL-64. Continue to follow FL-64, then turn left onto US-17 South / Florida Cracker Trail / FL-35 South. Continue to follow US-17 South / FL-35 South to I-75 South. Follow I-75 South, toward Naples, to Exit 123. Merge onto Corkscrew Road / CR-850 West toward Estero. Follow Corkscrew Road to Tamiami Trail / US-41 South / FL-45 South, and turn left. Stay on Tamiami Trail to Coconut Road, turn right and follow Coconut Road to the hotel.

Author Information

Jan Karon

Jan Karon is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of 14 novels in the Mitford series, featuring Episcopal priest Father Tim Kavanagh. She has authored 12 other books, including Jan Karon’s Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader and several titles for children. She is the recipient of the Library of Virginia’s Literary Lifetime Achievement Award.


SSG Travis Mills

Retired United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills of the 82nd Airborne is a recalibrated warrior, motivational speaker, actor, author, and an advocate for veterans and amputees. Travis’s New York Times best-selling memoir, Tough as They Come, is currently available on sale in bookstores everywhere. Despite losing portions of both arms and legs from an IED while on active duty in Afghanistan, Travis continues to overcome life’s challenges, breaking physical barriers and defying odds. Travis lives by his motto: “Never give up. Never quit.” In September 2013, Travis founded the Travis Mills Foundation, a nonprofit organization, formed to benefit and assist combat-injured veterans.


Christina Diaz Gonzalez

Christina Diaz Gonzalez is the award-winning author of several books, including The Red Umbrella, A Thunderous Whisper, Moving Target, and Return Fire. Christina’s books have received numerous honors and recognitions from publications such as Publisher’s Weekly, The Miami Herald, School Library Journal, and the Washington Post calling her novels engrossing, compelling, and inspirational. Christina currently lives in Miami, Florida with her husband and sons.


Sponsorship Information

The Celebration of Reading event helps raise both awareness and funds to support the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, which is dedicated to establishing literacy as a value in every home in America. The foundation funds the development of innovative family literacy projects in which parents and their children learn and read together.

Sponsored tables and tickets are available at various prices. For more detailed sponsor benefits and ticket information click HERE.

Our 2018 Sponsorship Commitment Form is available HERE.

Celebration Committee

Doro Bush Koch
Honorary Chair, Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy

Jeb Bush, Jr.
Honorary Chair, Celebration of Reading

Celebration of Reading Event Co-Chairs
Fred and Autumn Karlinsky
Fred and Stephanie Pezeshkan

Carol Jenkins Barnett, Publix Super Markets Charities
Romero Britto, International Pop Artist and Artistic Activist
Chris Evert, Legendary Tennis Champion
Tom Feeney, Associated Industries of Florida
Peter Jacobsen, PGA Professional and Golf Channel Commentator
Mike Jennings, Literacy Advocate
Mark Kaplan, The Mosaic Group
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen & Dexter Lehtinen
Garrett & Diana Richter, Barbara Bush Foundation Advocates


  • Dr. Arthur Agatston
  • Julianna Baggott
  • Derrick Barnes
  • Andrea Beaty
  • Michael Beschloss
  • Paulette Bourgeois
  • James Bradley
  • Marc Brown
  • Christopher Buckley
  • Laura Bush
  • Doro Bush Koch
  • Donovan Campbell
  • Eric Carle
  • Harlan Coben
  • Joanna Cole
  • Jill Conner Browne
  • Robin Cook
  • Michael Crichton
  • Drew Daywalt
  • Steve Doocy
  • Eric Draper
  • Jeffrey Engel
  • Antwone Fisher
  • Fannie Flagg
  • Carl Hiaasen
  • Carol and Mary Higgins Clark
  • A.J. Jacobs
  • Haven Kimmel
  • Greg Kincaid
  • Jeff Kinney
  • Debbie Macomber
  • Mary Matalin
  • James McBride
  • Brad Meltzer
  • Greg Mortenson
  • Bill O’Reilly
  • Dana Perino
  • Susan Orlean
  • Mary Pope Osborne
  • Sharon Robinson
  • Art Smith
  • R.L. Stein
  • Randall Wallace
  • N.D. Wilson
  • Markus Zusak

Get in Touch

You may also contact us by phone at 850.562.5300 or by mail at:
Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy
516 North Adams Street • Tallahassee, Florida 32301