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United Through Reading's Storybook Ball Ensuring Fairytale Endings for Military Families!

"The Storybook Ball was a magical opportunity to bring together our friends and supporters to celebrate another year of touching families around the world.  It was a chance to tell our story through our beneficiaries'' eyes.  And it was a perfect time to raise up those who walk along side of us, improving our work and expanding our reach."

- Sally Ann Zoll, Ed.D, Chief Executive Officer
United Through Reading


The Storybook Ball was held November 14th, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine. Amidst the black tie glamour, were some grass roots reasons for this event. The Storybook Ball benefits United Through Reading's mission to keep military families connected during deployment separations. They achieve this by videotaping a parent reading to the child. The child back home then receives the DVD which can be played and replayed, while reading aloud 'with' his or her parent. A crucial bond is thus maintained.

The cocktail reception featured music by Fred Benedetti, and a plethora of silent auction items offered. Bill Menish presided over the silent auction and later live auction, coaxing ample extra dollars, out of generous patrons.

At dinner in the ballroom, USO Worldwide CEO Sloan Gibson was honored, bestselling author of the 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' series, Jeff Kinney, was noted as Honorary Chair, Carol Raiter was recognized as Storybook Ball Chair, and Target was applauded for it's generous giving back of 5% of their sales to local communities, totaling $3 million every week.

Jim and Sally Zoll with Jeff Kinney, Storybook Ball Honorary Chair and Bob Fitch, Senior Vice President at BAE Systems in Virginia


Target by the way is pledging a whopping $500 million "to support education and to help children read!"

A very touching moment occurred when The Angel Award was presented to Bettie Stone, the United Through Reading Coordinator and Duty Manager at USO Joint Base Balad, Iraq. Bettie was presented the honor by Dr. Jay Choe, widower of the previous Angel Award recipient Lt. Florence Choe (deceased) who was one of United Through Reading's most dedicated volunteers.

Major sponsors for this event included Audrey Geisel and the Dr. Seuss Fund at the San Diego Foundation, BAE Systems, TriWest Healthcare Alliance, Adminstaff, the Andrew and Erma Viterbi Family, Wavestream, Northrup Grumman, Cubic, Onix, Cisco Systems, Inc., and Chris and Susan Burr.

"Research shows that the read-aloud experience is a way for children to experience the joy of reading and gain critical learning and communication skills."

"The USO and United Through Reading has been responsible for more than 100,000 DVD's being sent home to children with deployed parents since 2006."


Be advised strictly no downloading, publishing, broadcasting, printing, or copying of photos or content. Please email purchase requests of photos you are in.

Retired Admiral Fran Holian and Carol Holian


Howard Spetter of SDPD's K9 Unit with his wife, and United Through Reading Board Member, Cathy Spetter

Lanny Cornell with Mary Beth Adderley, and Lannette and Todd Bloom

Dr. Sally Zoll with Jeff Kinney

Service Dog Kima giving Coco's (a boxer buddy) father, Lanny Cornell, a lick


Jan Krystkowiak

Sally and Jim Zoll

Raff Ahlgren with Kristin King

Lanny Cornell with Bud Smith, Lannette Bloom, and Darlene Smith

Rick and Leslie Evans


Rudy Rehm

Rudy Rehm with The Social Diary Magazine's Co-Owner Scott Johnston

Bartender Angel Garcia shaking up a martini

Scott Johnston, SDPD Ret, and Purple Heart Award Recipient with Commander Maureen Fox

Commander Maureen Fox

Ed and Michelle Langmaid with Kima the Arthritis Dog Honoree and Service Dog

Ed and Michelle Langmaid with Jill Olsen and CAPT Marv Heinz (Ret)

Scott Johnston with Ed Langmaid and Rear Admiral Stephen Loeffler (Ret)

The Delicious Dinner

Military Guests

Esther Rodriguez

Dr. Jay Choe with Angel Award Recipient Bettie Stone


For more information about United Through Reading please visit



reported by Margo Schwab

photoshopped by Scott Johnston

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* Margo Schwab, MBA, more formally known as Margaret E. Schwab, has produced, written, interviewed and photographed for various media organizations since 1989. Schwab attended Holton Arms School, La Jolla Country Day School and La Jolla High School. Schwab has a B.A. from Scripps College, spent a business internship with S.A.I.C., Science Applications International Corporation, and earned a Masters of Business degree, M.B.A., from the University of San Diego by way of Claremont Graduate School . Schwab additionally took college courses from Harvard University, and Syracuse University. Schwab volunteers for numerous charity organizations. She also continues to support animal organizations and the prevention of people and animal abuse. Schwab is the editor of The Social Diary.

Margo Schwab and Scott Johnston of The Social Diary are pleased to announce partnerships with the Arthritis Foundation of San Diego County, Country Friends, the San Diego American Heart Association, and the San Diego Humane Society.

Margo Schwab and Scott Johnston are both members of the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club (Margo Schwab since 1974) and both are new members of the University Club.. Margo Schwab and Scott Johnston are also credentialed by the Chief of Police, William Lansdowne.



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