Books 4 Buddies is kicking off its summer Superhero Literacy Campaign from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 20, in the Macy’s® court of Franklin Park Mall, 5001 Monroe St.

This is a FREE family event and is open to the public.

Books 4 Buddies is represented by a diverse group of 25 male teen ambassadors from area public and private high schools who spend their summer months out in the community collecting and gifting books to children and young adults – with a specific focus on reaching boys – some of whom have limited access to leisure reading material.

Those coming to the kick-off event are asked to bring new or gently-used books for youth and deposit them at the book drop-off at The Blade truck that will be located in the mall's Southeast parking area (off Sylvania Avenue). Ben Cathey, a 13abc reporter, will serve as the event MC.

Here is the list of the local superheroes who will be making a visit during the event:

  • 2 p.m. - The honorable Teresa Fedor, Ohio House of Representatives, District 45
  • 2:15 p.m. - Christopher Smith, the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library’s Summer Reading Challenge superhero
  • 2:30 p.m. - Evan Fritts, professional Kart racing driver
  • 2:45 p.m. - Bowsher High graduate Dennis Hopson, retired National Basketball Association player/all-time men’s career points record holder as a former basketball player for The Ohio State University
  • 3:00 p.m. - Dr. Romules Durant, CEO/Superintendent of Toledo Public Schools
  • 3:15 p.m. - Jayme Thompson, Iowa Western Community College football player/former football player for The Ohio State University and Central Catholic graduate
  • 3:30 p.m. - Nigel Hayes, University of Wisconsin basketball player and Whitmer graduate
  • 3:45 p.m. - The honorable Paula Hicks-Hudson, City of Toledo Mayor
  • 4 p.m. - Jean Holden Singers (led by vocalist Jean Holden-Hanna aka Toledo’s First Lady of Song)

Books 4 Buddies was founded in 2012 by Toledo native Toure McCord and his grandmother Laneta Goings. The organization collects new and gently-used books for disadvantaged children and young adults. Since its inception, Books 4 Buddies has donated more than 30,000 books to readers in Northwest Ohio and beyond. For more information and to get involved with Books 4 Buddies visit