Print isn’t dead.
And with those words Suzanne Bywater emphasized the importance of the annual used book sale to the Rotary Club of Sarnia Bluewaterland.
The event being held January 12, 13 and 14 at the Bayside Centre in downtown Sarnia is the Club’s biggest fundraiser generating a net profit of $15,000.00.
In spite of the influx of electronic books and digital readers Bywater, who co – chairs the annual book sale with Camilla McGill says, “People prefer the printed word on ink and paper”.
“There is a satisfaction to holding a book” and the book sale is “like having a party and not knowing who is going to come”.
For the past 14 years hundreds of people have come to the three day event purchasing thousands of books and raising thousands of dollars for equipment at playgrounds, the flag plaza at the foot of the Bluewater Bridge, St. Joseph’s Hospice, school breakfast programs and area food banks.
This year some 30,000 books have been collected. Most will be sold for $1.00 and $2.00. The books are collected year round from the service kiosk at Lambton Mall and a drop box at Bayside Centre. Bywater says the Club also receives books from libraries as well as large collections throughout the City.
Rotarians, friends and volunteers work to make the sale a success. Bayside provides the location, Manley’s provides the tables, Huron Web Printing and Graphics does the advertising and trucking and there are “countless people who still love to read” who volunteer their time.
However, Bywater says there is a lingering problem in that the Club is getting older and requires the assistance of younger people. The Great Lakes Rugby Club helps with set up putting the display tables together. But she says it is becoming more difficult for the 29 members, some have been with the Club for all of its 27 years, to put the sale together.
Going forward she says the Rotarians will have to look for outside assistance.
The Club’s other major fundraiser is Art in the Park held at Mike Weir Park during the second weekend in September. Last year’s Art in the Park raised more than $11,000.00.
The Club has committed $150,000.00 to the new playground and memorial garden at Centennial Park.