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A Very Memorable Night Of 1,000 Stories

June 6, 2016

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Author ZZ Packer was joined by super-fans and student emcees Gabriela Jackson and Ayia Elsadig. All event photos courtesy Anne Haggerty.

In 2016, 826 Boston welcomed Jessica Drench to the Executive Director role at 826 Boston. At our annual Night of 1,000 Stories benefit on June 3, we pulled out all the stops to thank Daniel, announce big plans for growth, and toast a year of amazing student achievements. 826 Founder Dave Eggers, the award-winning author of “A Heart-Breaking Work of Staggering Genius,” and many, many other works of literature, toasted Daniel’s ground-breaking service to 826 Boston.

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Daniel Johnson then charmed everyone with his trademark poetic remarks on the occasion. After nine years at the helm of 826 Boston—including its founding—he takes the role of director emeritus.  2016-06-03 19.17.03

The evening was rounded out by inspiring performances from the 826 Boston Slam Poetry Team, who made it to the semi-finals of this year’s statewide Louder Than a Bomb championship. 2016-06-03 20.37.42


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Jessica Drench, five-year veteran of 826 Boston and now Executive Director, delivered remarks on her own teaching story before conveying plans for the growth of 826 Boston.

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That growth will be a little bit easier, thanks to Robin Young’s expert touch during the live auction and “Fund the Future” paddle raise. The organization raised $100,000 that night to fund the next Writers’ Rooms in a Boston Public School, as well as the other free youth writing programs that 826 Boston offers. If you missed out on bidding, there is one last prize to be won: a trip for two to Los Angeles to see The Circle premiere, starring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson. The film is based on Dave Eggers’ book. Bid online before 9 PM on June 10.

The evening also featured a Matt Watson original movie about 826 Boston’s most recent Young Authors’ Book Project, Attendance Would Be 100%: Student Proposals for High School Redesign Boston.

After a thrilling live auction and paddle raise punctuated by state champion Agnes Ugoji’s slam poetry, guests sang along with Ryan Miller of Guster, himself a songwriter and 826 Boston fan. The crowd was particularly impressed by student emcee Gabi Jackson learning, playing and then jamming with Miller on the organ.


Thank you again to all of our guests, table captains, supporters and performers. It was a truly magical night of inspiring stories. Please join us next year—there are still plenty of tricks up our sleeves.

See more images in our Flickr album!

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