This Veteran’s Day a San Diego-Based National Nonprofit Celebrates More than 2 Million Military Men, Women, and Children Connected Through Traveling Bedtime Stories

November 6, 2017

San Diego (November 6, 2017) – This Veteran’s Day, Saturday, Nov. 11, San Diego-based, national nonprofit, United Through Reading will celebrate 28 years of delivering bedtime stories to military families and more than 2 million beneficiaries served at the 9th annual Storybook Ball in Coronado, California.

The black tie gala will host supporters from across the nation including our military guest of honor, Vice Admiral Dixon Smith, the current Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Fleet Readiness and Logistics. United Through Reading’s mission is to bring military families who are separated due to deployment, training or military assignments, together through the read-aloud experience shared on video. The nation’s first nonprofit to promote the read aloud experience to military, United Through Reading video-records service members reading children’s books on video and send the recorded stories and books home to family to maintain family bonds despite the distance often caused by military assignments.

“Storybook Ball is an incredibly important event for us at United Through Reading,” said Dr. Sally Ann Zoll, United Through Reading’s CEO. “A highlight of our year, it allows us to pause and pour out our genuine thanks to so many dedicated supporters, like USAA Bank, this year’s honoree, and others who make our mission a reality each year because of their extreme generosity.”

Among those recognized during the evening will be a military family — the Colt family. United Through Reading enabled Lieutenant Colonel Ross Colt to be a part of his family’s life as a husband and a father through daily bedtime stories while he was deployed. Colt’s 15-year-old daughter Lauren will speak at this year’s Storybook Ball to share her experience.

“One day, an unexpected treasure arrived in our mailbox that contained a book and a video from Kuwait,” said military spouse Holly Colt. “Even though the Army took Ross away for the summer, United Through Reading brought him back to us each day.”
Last year, the nonprofit served nearly 100,000 beneficiaries. With more than 260 recording locations world-wide, the recordings often travel thousands of miles across oceans and time zones to delight children and spouses back home. In total, more than two million military family members have shared read-aloud story experiences with United Through Reading since its founding 28 years ago.

The 9th Annual Storybook Ball’s title sponsor is BAE Systems, Inc. BAE Systems alongside Reader’s Digest Foundation will be among the many generous sponsors that ensure military children benefit from the transformational read-aloud experience provided by United Through Reading.

Reception and silent auction begin at 5:30 p.m. and dinner, the live auction and program begin at 7 p.m.

For more information on United Through Reading and the Storybook Ball visit or call 858- 481-7323.

About United Through Reading

United Through Reading (UTR) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) public benefit organization that has served military families for more than 28 years. UTR’s mission is to unite military families facing physical separation by facilitating the bonding experience of reading aloud together. UTR offers service members the opportunity to be video-recorded reading storybooks to their children at home which eases the stress of separation, maintains positive emotional connections, and cultivates a love of reading and early childhood literacy. At more than 200 recording locations worldwide, service members read to the children who are special to them on military bases and outposts, deployed U.S. Navy ships, U.S. Coast Guard cutters, and at select USOs. Since inception, more than 2 million military parents, spouses, and children have benefited from the program.