Another cloudy and rainy afternoon didn’t deter local lovers of the written word from turning out for an event organized to ensure that children in Polk County have access to books as they grow up.

The Ferst Foundation’s local chapter raised more than $25,000 during their annual Afternoon with the Authors (previously Night with the Authors in 2017) held at In the Woods in Rockmart, with more than 120 people taking part by donating or scooping up book and gift baskets in a silent auction. The organization also auctioned off cakes as well.

This year, the organization brought three area authors to come take part, including Eastside Elementary educator and children’s book writer Rosalind Bund.

Bund has released five books on the market so far like her title “Thunder & a Lightning Bug named Lou” released in 2016. She’ll have a new book out for sale in April.

She said that she takes up each story as the idea comes to her and, but also makes sure to add a lesson for her young readers at the end.

“I think that Madeleine L’Engle said it best. ‘You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children,’” Bunn said.

Her newest title completed in collaboration with her daughter Maggie will be launched at FoxTale Book Shoppe in Atlanta.

She was joined by Christian authors Deborah Malone and Bryan Powell, both hailing from Georgia as well.

Ferst Foundation chair Patty Rogers said the contributions made this year go to help make sure than children born Polk County have the opportunity to grow up developing a love of reading early, sending a book once a month to a child from their birth through age 6.

This year’s fundraiser outpaced last year’s tally of more than $15,000 raised as the event was getting underway, organizers reported.

This year, the local chapter raised enough so far to make sure that 1,003 children can receive books through their program. And they hope to raise more.

Additional contributions are still being accepted, and those who want to help to the Ferst Foundation of Polk County can mail donations to P.O. Box 172, Rockmart, Ga., 30153.

Rogers said that with more funds, the organization can sign up more youth to take part in the program and target areas for participants like Floyd Medical Center’s birth registry department.