12th an­nual Books Ap­pétit fundraiser em­braces Mid­dle Eastern fla­vors

The Republican Herald - This Weekend - - News - BY PETER SHAVER STAFF WRITER pshaver@ timessham­rock. com 570- 348- 9127

Plates of food mix in with stacks of books at the an­nual Book­sAp­pétit fundraiser, which marks its 12th year sup­port­ingVal­ley Com­mu­nity Li­brary on Thurs­day, April 27.

Al­though Book­sAp­pétit has be­come a sta­ple event in the com­mu­nity, head­ing the fundraiser is a new­ex­pe­ri­ence for the li­brary’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Krista Peg­netter. She be­gan­work­ing for the li­brary, 739 River St., Peckville, in Oc­to­ber af­ter pre­de­ces­sorMary Barna re­tired af­ter three decades.

Peg­netter quickly learned of the fundraiser’s sig­nif­i­cance in help­ing the li­brary pay off its mort­gage, cover op­er­at­ing costs and more. Book­sAp­pétit set a record last year, rais­ing $ 6,000.

“Ev­ery­thing is do­nated, so the li­brary has very lit­tle cost for hold­ing the event,” Peg­netter said.

Pop­u­lar lo­cal restau­rants and stores gave to the event, whose food se­lec­tion Peg­netter said con­sists mostly of fa­mil­iar fa­vorites.

But the li­brary also tries to present an “op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to try some­thing a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent,” she added, and con­tacted Patti Chen of Patti’s Pitas in Eynon, hop­ing she could add some va­ri­ety of fla­vor for Book­sAp­pétit. This year’s fea­tured chef guest, Chen opened the restau­rant in Jan­uary and agreed to donate her ser­vices to the fundraiser.

“It’s go­ing to be Mid­dle Eastern. ... Falafels, chicken schnitzel, and then I’ll be bring­ingmy pita bread,” Chen said.

This year’s guests also can pick up a new­cook­book thanks to the li­brary’s cook­book club. The group’s roughly 15 to 20 mem­bers are as­signed a cook­book in the li­brary col­lec­tion and then at­tempt to make a meal fromit be­fore en­joy­ing food and con­ver­sa­tion to­gether.

“Since they­were hav­ing such a strong bond and hav­ing so much fun, they asked us to put to­gether a cook­book of their own recipes,” Peg­netter said. “It’s be­ing printed now, and it’ll be avail­able for pur­chase at Book­sAp­pétit.”

“Recipes from the Cook­book Club” costs $ 10 and is about 40 pages long.

Book­sAp­pétit guests also have the chance to try and win one of sev­eral raf­fles. Bas­kets on dis­play at the li­brary con­tain gift cards, me­mo­rial base­balls and bas­ket­balls and other prizes, and the li­brary will con­tinue to ac­cept do­na­tions un­til the event. Raf­fle tick­ets are $ 1, ex­cept for high- value bas­kets.

“It’s re­ally funny tome, mov­ing into this area, but I re­al­ize raf­fles are re­ally im­por­tant around here,” Peg­netter said.

She hopes every­one en­joys the food and helps sup­port the cause.

“All the pro­ceeds go to the li­brary. ... We get the ma­jor­ity of our fund­ing through the county li­brary sys­tem ... but thenwe still have 15 to 20 per­cent of our bud­get thatwe have tomake up,” Peg­netter said. “This is our big­gest fundraiser of the year, and it’s ab­so­lutely cru­cial.”

GIA MAZUR / STAFF PHOTO GRAPHER

Liz Klues­ner, Val­ley Com­mu­nity Li­brary youth ser­vices di­rec­tor, stands with raf­fle bas­kets and bot­tles of wine do­nated to the li­brary for the Books Ap­pétit ben­e­fit.

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