An award-winning author made a stop at the Douglas County Boys & Girls Club to help encourage children to read and get outdoors.

Carew Papritz is on a nationwide book tour for his book, "The Legacy Letters." The inspirational, fictional book includes a series of personal letters written by a father to children he would never live to meet. The letters share advice on life, love and everything in between.

Papritz said he wrote the book while he was a cowboy working on a ranch in Arizona. Carew has traveled coast-to-coast promoting his book through television and radio appearances, interviews and book signings.

On Tuesday, he hosted "The Great Legacy Letters Book Balloon Launch," at the Douglas County Boys & Girls Club, where he talked about his book with members and then organized a book balloon launch. Participants attached mini books to balloons and then gathered together to release them.

Papritz explained that the purpose of the balloon launch was to get children out of the house, off of technology and into a fun, meaningful reading experience that will lead to a lifetime of legacy.

"I do all sorts of things that embody the inspiration behind the book, which is living life to the fullest." Papritz said. "It's the whole idea of a message in a bottle, except that it's a miniature book. It's the entire book all 244 pages. Basically it's got a tracking number inside that the kids wrote down. It goes up, then it comes down and somebody finds it and puts it [the tracking number] in the website."

The BGC members gathered outside and were eager to release their balloons. They all then counted down from five and released the balloons into the air.

"I think for the kids it actually meant something different," said Stephanie Parker, program director with the Boys & Girls Club. "I spoke with them briefly in assembly to let them know what Mr. Carew actually does and that he's the author of the Legacy Letters and just the importance of doing something different and making learning fun. "

A number of groups have been participating in "The Great Legacy Letters Book Balloon Launch" nationwide. Although it is free to participate in the mini book launch, regular copies of the book have been sold.

Proceeds from those sales will go to the following charity of your choice between The Make-a-Wish Foundation, Military Mama Network or Reading Is Fundamental organizations, Papritz said.

For more information about Carew Papritz and "The Great Legacy Letters Book Balloon Launch," visit www.thegreatbookballoonlaunch.com.

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