The Brightspirit auction

The following is a message from one of our organizers, Sheila Ruth, about the ad you see in the center column:

On February 5, 2008, 10-year-old Emmy Grace Cherry lost her life in a tornado that devastated Russellville, Arkansas. Emmy’s mother and father died with her. Emmy was a big fan of the Warriors series by Erin Hunter, and her last 5th grade school report was entitled,  “My Favorite Author: Erin Hunter.” Through the efforts of Russellville bookseller Lynn Wiman, Emmy’s tragedy came to the attention of the authors who write the Warriors series under the pen name of Erin Hunter.

I became involved when Erin Hunter contacted me, knowing that I have many Warriors fans in the Wands and Worlds community, and asked if I would post a tribute to Emmy. I did, and the Warriors fans on Wands and Worlds responded with an outpouring of grief, condolences, tributes, and pictures. The kids decided to give Emmy an honorary Warriors name, based on the names used in the books, and they selected for her the name Brightspirit.

Emmy’s mother and father were given the names Shiningheart and Braveheart. respectively. Erin Hunter announced that Brightspirit, Shiningheart, and Braveheart would have a cameo appearance in an upcoming book, Long Shadows.

Emmy’s surviving family, including her grandparents, inspired by this response, wanted some good to come out of this tragedy, and so they founded the Brightspirit Relief Fund to raise money for causes that would have been important to Emmy: literacy, animal assistance, and storm relief. A Warriors Day literacy event will be held this Saturday, September 20, in Russellville, Arkansas, and will be attended by Erin Hunter in person.

An online auction kicks off the same day, to raise money for the fund to help with those causes. I’ve been working hard on setting up the auction, and I’m very excited about all the wonderful items that have been donated by Erin Hunter, Rick Riordan, Brandon Mull, Sarah Beth Durst, Jessica Day George, and others.

I hope that you’ll consider stopping by at Brightspirit to see all the great items we have. Bidding starts this Saturday, September 20. Authors and illustrators (and everyone else!): it isn’t too late to donate! Go to the auction site and click on “Donate Item” to start your donation. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to email me at sruth (at) wandsandworlds (dot) com .