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Rose Festival Makes a SMART Move Selecting the Official Charity for 2016

Making education the top charitable focus this season, the Portland Rose Festival announced today that SMART (Start Making A Reader Today) will be the Festival’s official charity for 2016. SMART was started in 1992 in Portland, pairing adult volunteers with children in need of reading support. By reading to a child once a week, volunteers help to build reading skills and self-confidence in a positive environment.

“We’re thrilled to be the Portland Rose Festival’s Official Charity this year, and we’re looking forward to joining in the festivities,” says Chris Otis, SMART Executive Director. “The Rose Festival is such a celebrated Oregon institution, and the visibility this partnership brings to SMART will be immensely helpful in our work to recruit volunteers and raise awareness about our mission.”

The Rose Festival will honor SMART with a special KidsZone Reading Corner at CityFair, a presence in the Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade and other ways leading up to their 25th anniversary celebration next year.

“We have so many Rose Festival events and programs that are focused on children,” says Carol Ross, Rose Festival Marketing and Development Director. “It’s a natural fit for us to celebrate literacy by honoring reading and books in partnership with an organization like SMART.”