Rotary Club book sale still popular with readers

Between 65,000 and 70,000 titles will be available for purchase during three-day, biannual event at Victoria Inn Sept. 13 to 15.

Despite the growing use of electronic technologies among readers, the Rotary Club of Brandon is still attracting hundreds of bookworms with the organization’s biannual book sale.

The local Rotary Club No. 1344 will host its Fall Book Sale Sept. 13 to 15 at the Victoria Inn’s Imperial Ballroom. As they have for the past several years, the event is expected to provide a selection of tens of thousands of tomes in a wide variety of genres. 

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“Generally, on the average, we net in the range of $20,000 to $25,000 with the sale,” said Don Partrick, public relations coordinator for the Rotary Club of Brandon. He added that between 65,000 and 70,000 titles will be available for purchase during the three-day event.

“There are four or five Rotarians working through the year on a weekly basis picking up books from drop boxes. The challenge is to keep them empty as they get filled that fast.” 

Partrick said the use of tablets, smartphones and other electronic technologies have not had a negative impact on the Rotary Club’s largest fundraiser of the year. In fact, he suggested that their last three sales – which are held annually in the spring and the fall – have been their most successful fundraisers to date.

“Our pricing hasn’t changed, so basically, that’s from the volume of response to the book sale,” he said. “The last three sales have been our highest in net dollars, so they’re holding their own. People still like to have paper in their hands. One thing that has declined is the use of hardcovers, which may be because they are big and heavy. But the softcover novels still have a lot of appeal to them.” 

Money raised by the local Rotary Club benefits various organizations and initiatives at the local, provincial, national and international levels. In Brandon, the club has contributed to the Ukrainian Catholic Church, the Westman Rotary Foundation, 82 Brandon Squadron Air Cadets, the Brandon University Nurses Scholarship, the Prairie Oasis Senior Centre, YMCA and other projects, like Special Olympics and scoreboards for local school facilities.

The organization raised about $73,000 in 2017. To date, their efforts have collected $49,000 this year. 

Rotary International, which benefits charities and programming throughout the world, was established to gather business and professional leaders for humanitarian, goodwill and peace initiatives. Created in Chicago, Ill. by attorney Paul Harris and some acquaintances in 1905, more chapters began to open up elsewhere in the United States through the next five years later.

The first international Rotary Club was set up in Winnipeg in 1910. The Rotary Club of Brandon was chartered in 1921. Partrick said the organization is just starting to put together a committee to mark their 100th anniversary in three years. 

The Fall Book Sale will take place from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. Sept. 13; 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Sept. 14; and 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Sept. 15. Every child in attendance will receive a free book.

The Rotary Club is still taking donations at various locations throughout the city, including Heritage Co-op, Sobeys-West End, Superstore, Lee’s Restaurant and Home Hardware. 

For larger book donations, contact Susan at (204) 726-4887.

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