Fernandina Beach, FL – The AIBF Gala Extravaganza, set for Friday, February 17, 2017, at the Omni AIP Resort, is the signature fundraising event for the Festival’s Authors in Schools Literacy Program. The Event features a “Dream Team” of International and New York Times bestselling literary stars – Steve Berry, David Baldacci, Lara Adrian, Mary Kay Andrews, Joseph Finder and R.L. Stine.

To help raise money for the Festival’s award-winning Authors in Schools Literacy Program, David Baldacci has generously offered to name a character in an upcoming book after the winning bidder of this item in the live auction that evening. If you have dreamed of living forever, your name can be immortalized in a Baldacci book. There’s no way to know if you’ll be on the side of good or evil. You’ll have to wait for your autographed copy to find out.

David Baldacci has published 33 novels; all have been national and international bestsellers, and several have been adapted for film and television. His novels have been translated into over 45 languages and sold in more than 80 countries; over 110 million copies are in print. David also has published five novels for younger readers. David and his wife Michelle are co-founders of the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America.

“We are so appreciative of David and Michelle and the Wish You Well Foundation’s generous support of the Festival. The Baldacci’s support, along with the generosity of our other sponsors and event ticketholders, are helping us purchase 8,464 books for our public-school students, and the students will get to meet the authors of those books during Authors in Schools Day” said Marie Fenn, festival volunteer president.

Enjoy a gourmet, sit-down dinner prepared by the Omni’s culinary team, with wine donated by Harris Teeter, tables graced with a special floral arrangement by Artistic Florist and dance to the music of the Mike Hendrix Band. Best of all, revel in the company of these world-renowned and NYT bestselling authors and participate as Festival Honorary Chairman Steve Berry stokes these rock-stars of fiction in the “Face-off” as they debate their craft, share some insights and respond to audience questions.

We’ve got a number of surprises for guests that evening; this is an event you don’t want to miss. There are still a few tickets available and we urge everyone to get tickets before they are sold out,” said Anne Read, Gala chairperson.

During this spectacular literary evening, Emcee and Auctioneer Senator Aaron Bean is sure to have you raising your bidding paddle for literacy. In addition to the opportunity to bid on getting your name in a Baldacci book, there are a select number of other wonderful auction packages such as a complete Wine & Roses Dinner Party for eight in Your Home, a Romantic Weekend for Two on the Ocean and a Photographer’s Dream Package among other special items.

For more details about the Gala, the auction and all the thee-day festival events or to buy tickets, visit www.ameliaislandbookfestival.org.