‘An Evening with Stephen King’ raises $135,000 for Manatee County Public Library

  • Jan 30, 2015

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (Jan. 30, 2015) – Renowned author Stephen King’s visit to the Manatee Performing Arts Center last night raised $135,000 for Manatee County Public Library System, well surpassing the $100,000 goal event organizers set last summer.
King spoke for more than an hour before a crowd of more than 370 at Manatee Performing Arts Center, telling tales from his career and explaining the creative process that drives him.

 The event sold out three weeks after being announced in August. Proceeds from the event will go to overhaul the Library System’s online operating system, with a private/public partnership to better serve the library patrons. The new operating system should be in place by the fall.


“Mr. King was so generous with the audience, and what an incredible night for our Public Library,” said Jane Plitt, Manatee Library Foundation president and event organizer. “Mr. King was so down to earth. He said downtown Bradenton was a most charming small town and he loved it.”


“It was amazing,” added Library Services Manager Ava Ehde. “It was true generosity of spirit on Stephen King’s behalf. He not only came and gave of his time and marvelous talent, he gave 20 copies of books that we were able to raffle.”


Ehde said King exhibited a love of libraries and reading that encouraged the entire audience.


“The foundation put together this wonderful, impressive event took and they made it look effortless,” Ehde said. “(Event organizers) Doris Pope, Jane Plitt, the volunteers from the Foundation, the Manatee Players, all the donors: It wouldn’t have been possible without them. Absolutely commendable.”



Plitt said King was thrilled with the community gifts presented to him at the end of his talk. Manatee County Neighborhood Services Director Cheri Coryea presented King with Spring Training tickets, an “I Geek the Library” T-shirt and a signed biography of King’s favorite author, John D. MacDonald.


“He was a happy camper,” Plitt said. Shortly after arriving at the theater, King stopped to connect with theater employees and event organizers, Plitt said. 


‘An Evening with Stephen King’ will air on METV (Bright House channel 614, FiOS channel 31) beginning Monday evening.


Later this year the Library Foundation will host Lisa Unger, Jeff Lindsay and Nancy Cohen as part of its Arts and Lecture Series, Plitt said to “provide stimulating programs to the community while raising awareness for the public library system.”


The Library Foundation was formed in 1985 by concerned community citizens to assure the Manatee County library system had the resources to serve the public today and tomorrow.  For more information, visit www.manateelibraryfoundation.org.


For more information on Manatee County Public Library System, visit www.mymanatee.org/library   To learn more about Manatee County Government, visit www.mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/manatee.county.fl and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.