Spring sunshine flooded the room at the Gates on Roblin on Sunday morning, May 3rd, for the Tenth Anniversary Books & Brunch, a Friends’ signature fundraiser. Guests were greeted by a gorgeous Gates’ Brunch, a great Rainbow Auction and some very entertaining speakers.
The highlight of Books & Brunch is always “Books I Have Known and Loved”. First we welcomed Charlene Diehl, Director of the Winnipeg International Writers Festival, poet, and extreme book-lover. “Loving Canadian Kids Books” was her title. She reminded us these books aren’t just for children and that the books we love as children stay with us all our lives.
Ron Robinson followed, with an eclectic list that ranged from The Poky Little Puppy to The Short Stories of Raymond Chandler, interspersed with the particular humour for which Ron is “known and loved”. Hear more of Ron and Books as host of Pages on CKUW FM 95.9 Saturday mornings. MC Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson , Winnipeg Free Press Books Editor & Wine Columnist, kept the proceedings moving nicely. The three were a great team and we hope to have them back.
A big thank you to all the volunteers who, over the past ten years, have made Books & Brunch the wonderful event it is.
For the complete “Books I Have Known and Loved” lists from Charlene and Ron, see below.
Books I have loved 2015
One of the hardest working members of our board has stepped down. Susan Fraser has been actively involved for the past 15 years and for most of this time she was the president and oversaw the birth of our two signature fundraisers: the Fall Book Sale and Books & Brunch. She was also the dynamo behind the growth and the success of the Best of Friends, our lovely little gift shop in the Millennium Library:
After our AGM on April 14th we hosted a reception in honour of Susan and in some small way tried to say thank you for her inspired leadership. She will be missed.
Friends’ President, Billie Stewart, says:
“It’s time to make sure the 2015 Books & Brunch is in your calendars (May 3). We are so pleased to have Al Rae and Charlene Diehl joining us for Books I Have Known and Loved. What an interesting and talented pair! We’ve had our eye on Charlene for B&B for some time; who better to talk about books than the director of the Winnipeg International Writers Festival, a published author, editor and former English prof. And we all knew Al as a comedian and director of the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, but then we ran into him doing some serious shopping at our book sale. Next we noted he is teaching a course called Wrestling Ulysses this spring in the McNally Robinson Community Classroom. Obviously he too belongs at Books & Brunch. And, as it’s the 10th Annual Books & Brunch, we might even have cake….”
Our 10th anniversary Fall Book Sale held on October 25th and 26th broke the record by netting the Friends well over $12,000! Kudos to great volunteers who worked together to make this absolutely the best sale ever! In the words of Book Sale chair, Billie Stewart: “Whatever we’re doing, we should keep doing it”. What we do is offer a wide variety of books that are of good quality; we nurture our volunteers; and we are promoting and using the media well.
Onward and upward to the 11th sale in the Fall of 2015!
The 9th Annual Fall Book Sale, held on Saturday and Sunday, October 26 and 27 at Grant Park High School, was another success, generating over $10,600 – the best year yet! There were nearly 150 people lined up at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday for the start of the sale, and traffic was great all weekend. Best of all, everyone – volunteers and customers – seemed to have a great time. What a great way to raise funds for our library and recycle all those great books into new homes!
The Friday night set-up crew really appreciated the wonderful sustenance from Boston Pizza on Taylor (plus volunteer Pamela Bowles’ yummy Tunnel of Fudge cake). Weekend volunteers were fed well with donations from Taylor Avenue neighbours: Sobeys, Safeway and Subway!
As always the staff at Grant Park High School was great. The caretakers looked after us well all weekend. A really big thank you goes to teacher Bobbi Milberg for sending us such wonderful student volunteers to help move boxes during Friday set-up. They were tireless and those strong young backs were lifesavers for us.
Unsold books are redirected to agencies such as the Salvation Army. Selected paperbacks go to the Prison Library Project (http://www.mla.mb.ca/content/prison-libraries-committee).
Since its inception, the sale has contributed over $50,000 to enrich our work in supporting important Winnipeg library projects.
The Friends of the Winnipeg Public Library are proud to announce that Susan Fraser was awarded the 2013 Manitoba Library Service Award in the volunteer category. The service award honours an individual who has made an important contribution to the development of libraries and library services in Manitoba. Susan received her award at the Manitoba Library Association Annual General Meeting held at the Winnipeg Convention Centre on May 29th, 2013.
Susan has been involved with the Friends since 2000 and was president from 2002 until this year. She remains on the board as the manager of the popular and successful Best of Friends Gift Shop in the lobby of the Millennium Library.
Not only has Susan dedicated thousands of volunteer hours to the organization, she also has been an inspiration to others so that the Friends,
under her leadership, has realized unprecedented success in being able to financially support library programs which in turn has benefited countless Winnipeg citizens.
Photo: MLA Past President Stephen Carney and honoree Susan Fraser.
See Gabriele Schreiber Friends of the Year Award letter. (PDF)