John Grisham to headline 2016 Library Foundation fundraiser for Manatee Public Library System

  • Sep 15, 2015

Stephen King will interview Grisham on stage at SCF’s Neel Performing Arts Center

 MANATEE COUNTY, FL (Sept. 15, 2015) –  Legal thriller novelist John Grisham will headline the Manatee Library Foundation’s marquee fundraiser a January, 2016 event at State College of Florida’s Neel Performing Arts Center.


Stephen King, last year’s Foundation speaker, will also be a part of the event and will interview Grisham on stage. The event, “Book-Ends: An Evening with Two Literary Giants” will be held Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016.  Organizers are hoping to sell out the 832-seat venue and to raise $175,000 for the Library System.


Foundation President Jane Plitt, Manatee County Library Services Manager Ava Ehde, State Rep. Jim Boyd, honorary event co-chair and Stephanie Goforth, President of Northern Trust’s West Florida region made the announcement today during a noon press conference at Central Library.


“The Library Foundation Inc. is thrilled that these world famous authors are sharing their time and prestige to help us fund literacy programs through the Manatee County Public Library system., addressing a critical community need,” said Foundation president Jane Plitt.


“We’ve hit another grand slam,” said Rep. Jim Boyd, the event’s honorary chair. “It’s going to be an outstanding event.


Northern Trust Bank is the event’s presenting sponsor. Susan Wilcox is the Foundation’s event chair.


Sponsorship packages from $7,500 (reception sponsor) to $300 (patron) are available online or by calling (941) 216-8746. If tickets are still available on Oct. 15, the public may purchase tickets for $150 apiece. Thirty State College of Florida students will attend the event compliments of the Anne and Eugene Beckstein Charitable Trust.


Last year’s “An Evening with Stephen King” raised more than $100,000 to benefit Manatee County Public Library System. That money went toward the purchase of a new integrated library system (ILS) in Manatee libraries that launches Oct. 1. The new system will give patrons a new, modern way of accessing library materials. 


“This is a huge literary event and we continue to be awestruck it’s happening here,” said Manatee County Library Services Manager Ava Ehde. “We are grateful to these impressive and prolific authors as well as Rep. Boyd, the growing list of sponsors and the Library Foundation for their support of our Manatee Libraries.” 


 The Foundation will also give away a ticket to the King event to the winner of a Flash Fiction contest challenging amateur writers to submit a 250-word piece of fiction or poetry inspired by a photo posted on the new site.

One winner will be announced in January. (If a minor wins the contest, he or she will be awarded two tickets for guardian accompaniment.)


Grisham’s books have sold more than 275 million copies worldwide. His most popular titles include The Firm, A Time to Kill, The Client and The Pelican Brief. A new title, The Rogue Lawyer, will be released in October.




The Library Foundation Inc.’s mission is to ensure that the Manatee County Public Library System obtains and manages needed supplemental funds and support to achieve its potential today and tomorrow as an indispensable community resource. Find them online at  and on Facebook at


For more information on Manatee County Public Library System, or follow them on Facebook at    For more information on Manatee County Government, visit online at or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.