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      Claire's Day a celebration of life-long reading

      Claire Lynsey Rubini was just 10 years old when she lost her life to a heart condition in 2000. Claire's parents celebrated her life Saturday at Northwest Ohio's largest free family book festival.

      Hundreds of young readers and their families celebrated the 12th annual Claire's Day at the Maumee Branch Library. The festival embraces all of Claire's favorite activities for children to enjoy. Several tents housed activities such as arts and crafts, dancing, story-telling, and most importantly, reading.

      "I just feel her spirit here all day long," said Julie K. Rubini, Claire's mother. She continued, "It is a day filled with emotion, as time has progressed, mostly joy."

      Claire and her father, Brad Rubini, had a special bond through reading. Brad is dyslexic, making reading a constant struggle. That's when Claire became the story-teller, and started reading to her father when she was seven.

      "For the last three years she read to me, and that's a blessing that I'll cherish for life, that was our time," said Rubini.

      Since 2001, over 1,800 astute readers from first through eighth grade have been nominated by their teachers to receive Claire's Day C.A.R.E. Awards. The program is designed to inspire children and their families to be life-long readers.

      The Rubini's say Claire's Day has grown into an event much larger. Through the efforts of volunteers and the leadership of Executive Director Heather Gallant , Claire's Day Inc. coordinates a variety of reading-themed events and activities at dozens of area schools. Claire's Day has already donated $27,500 to the Library Legacy Foundation.