ECPA's Rush To PressAuthor Deeanne Gist to Recognize ‘2 Who Care’ Volunteer Couple With $1,000 Grant

Contact: Nancy Berland, 800-308-3169

Houston, TX—They’re everywhere across the country: couples who are reaching out to others, striving to make a difference in their communities, to improve the lives of others, and nationally bestselling author Deeanne Gist wants to hear about them. Her goal: to award $1,000 to one such couple—to “2 Who Care.”

The Houston author of award-winning historical novels came up with the idea while putting the finishing touches on her upcoming book, FAIR PLAY. Set at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, FAIR PLAY (Howard Books, May 2014, ISBN 978-1451692419) finds a woman doctor and a World’s Fair guard opening their hearts to a foundling and the children of Chicago’s West Side. To ensure the children have a place to play other than the filthy, rat-infested streets of the city’s 19th Ward, the doctor and the guard team up to build Chicago’s first playground. The park launches a playground movement that ultimately sweeps the nation.

“I see it in my city—and I know it’s taking place in others—couples rolling up their sleeves, donating their time, often reaching into their own pockets to help the less fortunate,” says Gist. “I approached Howard Books about helping me in this ‘volunteer couple star search,’ and they graciously have lent their support.

“You know who these people are—tell me about them,” Gist continues. “Maybe it’s you and your husband or a friend; maybe it’s a couple in your neighborhood, social group or place of worship. To nominate someone, simply go to my Facebook page—there’s a special 2 Who Care app there. All you have to do is tell me in 150 words or less about the differences a couple is making in your community.”

Deadline for nominating a couple is Tuesday, April 1, 2014. Gist will select 10 finalists, and in the interest of “Fair Play,” readers will choose the winning couple by popular vote The deadline for voting will be Tuesday, May 6 at 12 p.m. ET. In addition to awarding the winning couple a $1,000 grant, Gist will send certificates of appreciation to the other finalists, along with a copy of FAIR PLAY, and her first book set at the World’s Fair, IT HAPPENED AT THE FAIR.

Coincidentally, the launch of Gist’s 2 Who Care contest coincides with CNN’s March 6 launch of the Robert Redford-produced series, “Chicagoland.”

“This eight-part series will focus on challenges present-day Chicago faces in the aftermath of our country’s economic collapse—particularly on how to improve education and neighborhood youth safety,” Gist says. “Those are the same challenges Chicago faced in 1893 in my novel, FAIR PLAY—while the rest of the world was flocking to the extravagant ‘White City’ to take in exhibits on the advances countries had made at the turn of the century. It just goes to show that no matter what century we are in, we will always need people rolling up their sleeves and making efforts to help in their communities. I hope FAIR PLAY and 2 Who Care will increase the awareness for these needs and highlight the importance of those who step up and make a difference.”

To learn more about Deeanne Gist and FAIR PLAY, visit For an interview with the author or a review copy of the book, contact Nancy Berland,, 800-308-3169. To nominate a couple for 2 Who Care, go and click on the 2 Who Care app.