Tawa Rotary has a tall order for big book fair
Tawa Rotary has plenty of books, but is in need of a giraffe.
The charitable organisation is holding its annual book fair during the next two weekends to raise funds for children’s health education charity the Life Education Trust.
A volunteer is being sought to appear at the fair dressed as Harold the giraffe, the trust’s mascot.
Harold will give a tour of the trust’s mobile classroom to children and curious adults at the fair.
Book fair organiser Doug Burrus suspects the task will fall to a Rotarian, but no members have yet taken up his offer to wear the heavy, hot giraffe costume, he says.
The fair has been raising money for the trust for four of the nine years since it began, and Mr Burrus hopes to match last year’s $18,000 sum.
Aside from small advertising costs, all the money raised will go towards teaching schoolchildren healthy choices and self-esteem, he says.
‘‘One thing about Rotary – what goes in comes out, unlike some of these charities where out of a dollar, 50 cents goes to advertising.’’
More than 20,000 books have been collected so far, plus hundreds of magazines.
Some books are left over from Plimmerton and Johnsonville’s Rotary book fairs earlier in the year, but Mr Burrus is amazed by the huge outpouring of books from the community each year. ‘‘It’s fascinating, really.’’ Some will have been bought last year, read and now donated back to the sale, he suspects.
‘‘A lot of these have probably been recycled a few times.’’
Most books sell for between $2 and $3, but rare and special books are ‘‘expensive’’ – up to $10 each.
‘‘But when I say expensive, it might be something you pay $100 for in a shop,’’ Mr Burrus says.
Rotary members spend dozens of hours collecting donated books and setting them up for the fair.
‘‘It would be easier to go back to work, I think, and get paid,’’ Mr Burrus jokes.
There is a small reward for their labour – Rotarians gather for a wine and cheese evening the night before the sale and get first pick of the books displayed, but must buy them like any member of the public.
‘‘We’re trying to turn books into money, not give them away,’’ Mr Burrus says.
Tawa Rotary book fair, Tawa Junction, Surrey St, July 23 to 24, 30 to 31. Open Saturdays 9am till 4pm, Sundays 10am till 3pm.
Bargain books: Children will benefit to the tune of $18,000 from an upcoming book fair, says Tawa Rotary’s Doug Burrus.