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Junior League launches children's book celebrating Kingsport's centennial

Carmen Musick • Oct 23, 2017 at 4:30 PM

On Thursday, Nov. 2, as part of the city's centennial celebration, Junior League of Kingsport will launch a limited edition children's book featuring Kingsport. The launch will be held in conjunction with the Downtown Kingsport Association's Sip-N-Stroll Holiday Open House.

The book launch wil be held from 5 to 8 p.m., Nov. 2 at Little Cake, located at 231 Broad Street in Downtown Kingsport, and will include book sales and an author signing throughout the evening.

The children's book, "Experiencing 100," is written and illustrated by Junior League member Leah Adinolfi. It features hand-drawn scenes of Kingsport accompanied by whimsical, metered rhyme and verse, creating a unique read-aloud experience for both adults and children.

"This is a book that you will probably read to your children or with your children," Adinolfi explained. "My hope is that kids will ask questions and recognize some of the places featured in the book and really think about what 100 really means. The verses invoke the number 100 over and over, and talk about a hundred stones or a hundred steeples. I hope it gets people to think about that number and how big that is."

Adinolfi, a Kingsport native, never really considered herself an artist or an author. As it turns out, she's a little bit of both - with a servant's heart to go along with it.

"Experiencing 100" was crafted as a gift to the community from Adinolfi who, after a serious car accident in 2016, began drawing scenes of Kingsport as a means of therapy and entertainment. Inspired by the outpouring of support she received during her convalescence, she decided to compile her drawings into a children's book and donate its proceeds to the community through the Junior League of Kingsport and the Centennial Park Committee.

"This is not something I've done for a very long time. I took art in high school and it's something I enjoy. It's just not a path I had ever gone down," Adinolfi explains. Following the accident, "I wasn't able to walk for a period of time so I was sitting a lot."

"I was sitting A LOT," she stresses again, with a laugh. That's when a friend from work brought her a coloring book and some colored pencils which she found very calming and therapeutic.

From there, she started to draw other things, eventually crafting a number of originals including the scenes of Kingsport included in her book. The cover, designed by Chelsie Gregory, offers a sneak peek of just a few of the images contained inside. Adinolfi added verses akin to nursery rhymes to create the limited edition children's book.

In addition to the Holiday Open House, "Experiencing 100" will be available for purchase during the Junior League of Kingsport Holiday Tour of Homes, scheduled for Dec. 9-10, and throughout the holiday season at downtown retailers including Bear & Friends, Carriage House, the Kingsport Chamber gift shop, Kingsport Carousel, Little Cake, Sprouty Pea and Style Boutique. The limited edition book will be available through Jan. 1, 2018. The retail cost of the book is $15 plus tax while supplies last.

All proceeds from sales benefit Junior League of Kingsport and the Centennial Park Committee.

The Junior League of Kingsport is a not for profit organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. The Junior League of Kingsport actively gives back to the community through a variety of projects, many of which focus on children.

For more information about "Experiencing 100" and other projects of the Junior League, visit www.jlkingsport.org or email them at jlkingsport@gmail.com. The Junior League of Kingsport reaches out to women of all races, religions and national origins who demonstrate an interest in and commitment to voluntarism. The chapter is a member of the Association of Junior Leagues International.

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