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Inn BoonsBoro On The Square, a historic property built in the 1790’s by Peter Conn on the corner of North Main and St. Paul in Boonsboro, began it’s rich history as “The Eagle” and later "The Boone Hotel".  As needs for the town evolved, and the demand for lodging waned, The Boone Hotel morphed into eateries and even a skate shop. Finally, in 2009 the building was restored to it’s original purpose.  Retaining the dignity and grace of the historic structure, Inn BoonsBoro has come full circle.  A romantic Bed & Breakfast whose room namesakes are some of the most well known literary lovers - Wesley and Buttercup (The Princess Bride), Elizabeth and Darcy (Pride and Prejudice), to name a few.

The focus is on literacy, nationally and locally.

On the National level - Pro Literacy Worldwide
On the Local level - The Washington County Public Library renovation known as "Building Our Great Good Space"

A Charity Event featuring Silent and Live auctions of Artwork by celebrated local artists
Jewelry from NYT best-selling author Nora Roberts’ personal collection

BOONSBORO, MD -- Inn BoonsBoro on The Square’s inaugural special event, a charity auction that encourages guests to Read Always & Shine will be held October 22, 2011 to benefit the Washington County (MD) Free Library Rebuild and ProLiteracy Worldwide, LLC.

The sparkling evening offers guests the opportunity to bid on fabulous art and stunning jewelry. A silent auction of unique artwork by celebrated local artists precedes a live auction of selected pieces from New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts’ personal jewelry collection.

Read Always & Shine takes its cue from the title of Nora Roberts’ upcoming release, The Next Always (Berkley Trade), the first book in a trilogy set in Boonsboro, Maryland. An online auction will be held in conjunction with the live event to give Nora’s many loyal readers a chance to bid on pieces she has worn and loved.

The Washington County Free Library Rebuild fund is earmarked to nearly double the size of the central library in Hagerstown, Maryland. The planned renovation includes the addition of an outdoor event venue and expanded areas for children, teens and adults, as well as 40 public computer stations.  ProLiteracy Worldwide LLC is dedicated to using the power of literacy to improve the lives of adults both nationally and here in Maryland. Their vision encompasses a world in which everyone can read, write, compute, and use technology to lead healthy, productive and fulfilling lives. 

Nora has lived in Washington County, Maryland for nearly 40 years. Her family has roots in and around Boonsboro where her husband, Bruce Wilder, owns Turn the Page Bookstore and her son owns Vesta Family Restaurant as well as the soon to be opened Dan’s Restaurant and TapHouse. For over a decade, the Nora Roberts Foundation has supported charities for women, children and literacy throughout Maryland. Proceeds from the auctions will go to two organizations that focus on areas close to her heart.

“For an author, libraries and literacy go hand in hand,” said Nora. “As a lifelong reader myself, I cannot imagine not being able to pick up a book and dive into a story. And when I started out, the library was the source of all my research. I would use the reference sections – even in the children’s room – when I brought my sons to the library.

“I hope that the Read Always & Shine event will bring these two compelling efforts to greater public attention,” Nora added.

Over 60 pieces of jewelry from Nora’s collection will be available for the online and live auctions. They reflect a distinctive style running the gamut from delicate strands to wide bands of gold and silver, from pendants that speak of summer to a ruby bracelet that fits a wintry mood. Always one to mix and match the jewelry she wears, these cherished pieces chosen personally by Nora will go perfectly with any style of clothing from formal evening to casual outings.

To add to the excitement, one of Ms. Roberts’ favorite jewelers, Peachtree on Fifth of New York City, has donated a piece, “The Next Always” Pendant.

Inn BoonsBoro will be the backdrop for the artwork auctioned off at the Read Always & Shine auction. Since the Inn opened in February 2009, there has been a steady, thematic rotation of art by artists with ties to western Maryland. Curated by Kathryn Burns, owner of the Bridge Gallery in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, the art displayed shows a lively sensibility and affinity for the building’s history brought to vivid life.

Natoma Vargason, manager of Gifts Inn BoonsBoro, chose the art for Read Always & Shine specifically to fit the theme of the evening. Artists donating their work include: Jeff Kollins, Tony and Jonna Mendez, Michael Douglas Jones, Michael Hauver, David Zimmerman, Ralph Basford, Benita Keller, Frank Herrera, R. Benjamin Jones, Mark Muse and Walter Bartman.

Inn BoonsBoro is owned by Nora Roberts and Bruce Wilder. A boutique hotel with the welcoming charm of a Bed and Breakfast, Inn BoonsBoro is housed in the oldest stone building in Boonsboro. For nearly two centuries the building on the corner of Main and St. Paul’s Streets served as a place of hospitality in the form of a hotel, or a tavern or both. The building gradually fell into disrepair over the last half of the 20th century.

When they purchased the property Nora and Bruce vowed to maintain the historic integrity of the building and preserve its character while creating a distinctive small hotel. The Inn features six rooms and two suites. All but the Penthouse, a sumptuous suite that defines luxury, take their cues from romantic literary couples.

Despite a disastrous fire in February 2008 when the construction was nearly two-thirds finished, the Inn opened to rave reviews from guests and media in February 2009. Only open to the public for an annual Christmas tour, Inn BoonsBoro offers a private haven for guests.

The Read Always & Shine Auction is an invitation-only event. More information about the online auction can be found at www.nrauction.org. Bidding on the online auction starts at noon on October 16 and closes at noon on October 22. For more information on the charities please visit www.washcolibrary.org/capital/index.html and www.proliteracy.org .

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