Portland, February 8th, 2013. The SMART (Start Making A Reader Today) gala at the Portland Art Museum drew nearly 500 people and raised $360,000 for the nonprofit. Kristin Apana, a performer from the Hawaii Club of Pacific University, entertained supporters with with a traditional Tahitian dance. (Photo credit, Andie Petkus) The theme was the children’s book Where the Wild Things Are.

Tori O’Keefe enjoys the social hour with SMART Board Member Michele Daterman, Tom O’Keefe and Kent Lewis.

Tori O’Keefe enjoys the social hour with SMART Board Member Michele Daterman, Tom O’Keefe and Kent Lewis.

Left to right, Knowledge Universe CEO Tom Wyatt with “Timber Joey” Webber and SMART Board member Liz Large, also of Knowledge Universe.  Knowledge Universe was the presenting sponsor of this year’s SMART Gala.

Knowledge Universe CEO Tom Wyatt with “Timber Joey” Webber and SMART Board member Liz Large of Knowledge Universe. Knowledge Universe was the presenting sponsor of this year’s SMART Gala.

Skylar Derthick of Northwest Children’s Theater who portrayed Max from Where the Wild Things Are for the opening of the program.

Skylar Derthick of Northwest Children’s Theater portrayed Max from Where the Wild Things Are for the opening of the program.

From left, longtime SMART Volunteer Harriet Langmas of Bend, Oregon, received the 2013 Outstanding SMART Volunteer Award from SMART Executive Director Chris Otis (right) at the 2013 SMART Gala. Langmas has been a SMART volunteer reader for 21 years.

From left, longtime SMART Volunteer Harriet Langmas of Bend, Oregon, received the 2013 Outstanding SMART Volunteer Award from SMART Executive Director Chris Otis (right) at the 2013 SMART Gala. Langmas has been a SMART volunteer reader for 21 years.

From SMART:

SMART’s mission is to engage community volunteers to read one-on-one with PreK-3rd grade children who need literacy support. Participating children also receive new books each month to keep and read with their families. Today, we are committed to achieving our vision of an Oregon where every child can read and is empowered to succeed.  SMART is currently in 246 schools and Headstart programs throughout Oregon. Since 1991, SMART has served more than 152,000 Oregon children, and given away more than 2 million books.