Honoring a late, beloved teacher with the love of reading and a “virtual race”

The build-up to a first-time event began over the weekend, designed to raise funds for a local family who lost a loved one almost a year ago.

Julie McVey, a Knox County native and Monmouth College graduate, most recently taught at United West Elementary School prior to her passing at the age of 37, but also was involved in the board of the Warren County United Way.

The United Way and Monmouth College, among others, thought one of the best ways to honor McVey was to celebrate her love of reading.

“About four or five months ago, I got a call from my board president, who said, ‘A couple of Julie’s classmates want to do something in her memory.  They want to do a fundraiser in the summer.  Can you get together with them?'” says Jeanne Weber, Executive Director of the Warren County United Way, about the first “Julie McVey Reading Day” July 27th.  “Long story short, it’s turned into a very big project, a very big program, that we’re able to offer to Warren and Henderson Counties.”

The classmates are Monmouth alums Evy Lipecka, a professional fundraiser, and author Kendra Preston.

“Julie just had a way of bringing out the best in people,” says Lipecka.  “She always gave everybody the benefit of the doubt, and never really dwelled on the negative.  She really made you be the best version of yourself by being around her.”

From now until then, a fundraiser is taking place encouraging people to take part in a “virtual” seven-mile race that will benefit McVey’s family, the Reading Day, and the installation of “little libraries” around Warren County.  CLICK HERE for more details on the virtual race and the Julie McVey Reading Day, and a book signing Preston will do in conjunction with the reading day.

Weber, Lipecka, and Preston were guests Saturday on WGIL’s Galesburg Live.  CLICK HERE to listen to the full interview.

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