The State News
December 3, 1998

Added December 18, 1998

The State News, a newspaper at Michigan State University, reported on December 3, 1998 that Tori autographed a Steinway piano bench that was auctioned off in Lansing/East Lansing that morning for The Capital Area Literacy Coalition. A local radio station was at the auction and giving away tickets and backstage passed for the final show of the Plugged '98 Tour later that day. Read the article below.

Tori Amos to autograph bench for local charities

State News MS&U Writer

LANSING - The Capital Area Literacy Coalition is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to providing free instruction in reading, writing and English as a second language for adults and at-risk youth.

In collaboration with WWDX (92.1-FM), the group will auction a Steinway piano bench autographed by Tori Amos at Beaner's, 115 W. Allegan St., with all proceeds going toward the coalition's programs.

Lois Bader, director of the Capital Area Literacy Coalition, said The Edge is helping the charity as a community service.

"The Edge has made a commitment to find supporters of our organization," she said. "They have a huge student audience and that should be very helpful in recruiting volunteers."

There are approximately 500 MSU students who are volunteer tutors, but there is always a waiting list of both children and adults who need help, Bader said.

"This event will generate publicity so if people need help, they'll know where to come and if they want to volunteer as a tutor or donate reading materials or funds, they'll know where to come," she said. "We really want to encourage everyone who has an interest to give us a call."

Chris Brunt, The Edge program director, said the auction is a unique way to raise money for a good cause.

"We wanted to come up with something special that doesn't usually get done," he said. "By donating the money to the Literacy Coalition, we're helping to make a positive difference in Lansing.

"Fifteen to 20 percent of the population in mid-Michigan are functionally illiterate and the coalition makes a big difference every year so we're proud to be working with them."

The Edge is broadcasting live from Beaner's from 6 a.m to 10 a.m. today with the auction ending around 9 a.m. Beaner's opens at 6 a.m., and the public is invited to stop by to bid on the piano bench and have a chance to win tickets and backstage passes to Tori Amos' sold-out show tonight at the Breslin Student Events Center. Some winners will go backstage before the show to have their photo taken with Amos, which she will autograph.

Joe Flaherty, general manager of Beaner's, said the coffee shop is glad to host the event.

"We are very much in support of charity, just as Tori Amos is," he said. "Hopefully this auction will bring the charity to light and get younger people involved."

In addition to the auction and the live radio broadcast, Beaner's visitors can enjoy the music of Lansing musician Wally Pleasant, who will perform at 6:30 a.m. Pleasant, a 1990 MSU graduate, describes his music as a unique blend of folk and humor. He said he gladly accepted when The Edge contacted him to play at the auction.

"I think it's important to do what you can for charitable organizations," he said.

"When 92.1 asked me to perform, I said yes right away."

Brunt said Pleasant was a natural choice to perform at Beaner's.

"Wally's a great entertainer all around," Brunt said. "He has an original musical style that's funny but smarter than Weird Al."

For more information about volunteering for the Capital Area Literacy Coalition, call (517) 485-4949.

Please give me feedback, comments, or suggestions about my site. Email me (Michael Whitehead) at