03/15/10 — Book signing to raise money for Smart Choices

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Book signing to raise money for Smart Choices

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on March 15, 2010 1:46 PM

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Diane Wolfe

Diane Wolfe understands about the importance of making good decisions.

She's based an entire series of young adult books around the theme.

Instead of the typical fiction books targeted toward teens, she has carved out a career trying to send a positive message about relationships, values and self-esteem.

"It's all about choices," she said. "The choices you make now will affect your entire life."

Her five-book "Circle of Friends" series depicts stories of five friends, spotlighting a different character in each book. She long ago decided to save the most-requested character for last.

Heather Jennings could be described as "ornery, dominant and strong," a tall basketball player who is ultimately the polar opposite of the Goldsboro author.

"I saved her for last because I knew she would be my biggest challenge," Ms. Wolfe said. "She's the one I related to the least but I could understand her."

The latest book delves into Heather's story as she embarks on a new job as a coach at Clemson University, while dealing with her father's cancer, a talented but cocky basketball player and the frustration of an unexpected relationship.

As the date drew closer for the book to be released, though, Ms. Wolfe decided she wanted to do something a little different -- turn it into an event that would benefit an organization that is likewise vested in building self-esteem and character in youths.

She contacted Daryl Woodard, executive director of Smart Choices for Youth, which provides mentoring and enrichment programs for at-risk youth.

Its mission meshed nicely with Ms. Wolfe's writing focus -- helping youth overcome obstacles while instilling confidence and showing them right things to do.

The event will be held on Tuesday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Holiday Inn Express on Spence Avenue.

In addition to signing copies of her books, attendees are invited to bring new or gently used books appropriate for children and teens or make a monetary donation to Smart Choices. Also, 20 percent of proceeds from the sale of her books will go to Smart Choices.

Woodard will be on hand to answer questions about the program, and refreshments will also be served.

"We feel honored and privileged that she has chosen Smart Choices for Youth to partner with us on this," he said "We support that 100 percent."