Sundre fundraiser celebrates good books, good food

Books2Eat promotes local restaurants while raising funds for Sundre City Library

SUNDRE — A recently concluded fundraiser not only generates revenue for the local library, but also promotes partner restaurants.

Books2Eat is an international celebration of good books and good food that seeks to combine literary and culinary culture, and is celebrated annually at the beginning of April.

“The first year we launched Books2Eat (in 2019), it was done in the library,” said Joy Willihnganz, programmer at Sundre City Library, adding later that the second event scheduled for 2020 had been canceled in due to the pandemic.

“We had (restaurants) donated food that represented something from a book or related to a book topic,” Willihnganz said of the inaugural event. “They entered the library and served the food.”

People who purchased tickets at the time were then invited to attend the event in person at the library, where they could sample the culinary creations while having the opportunity to socialize and vote for their favorite themed exhibit. , she said, adding that the library also had related books available that matched the themes selected by the restaurant owners.

“We had a pretty good turnout for that one,” she said. “Of course, this forced people to come to the library, which we weren’t able to do last year. So last year and this year followed the same format.

This year’s partners were Piros and Boondox family restaurants and Backwoods Bakery and Cafe. They each selected a specialty meal of their choice and provided it at a discount for the library, she said.

“We sold the tickets and picked out some book or DVD recommendations that could go with this meal,” she said.

But instead of holding a social gathering at the library on April 1, people who bought tickets instead went straight to the restaurant to pick up a take-out order.

“Attendees only had to go with their ticket to the restaurant at a designated time on the day of the event and pick up their ready-to-go meals,” she said.

Just over $650 was raised with a total of 76 tickets sold, she said.

“It was very well received,” she said. “From what we heard, the restaurants were satisfied. We are truly grateful for their participation with us in this fundraiser. We were certainly delighted to be able to promote the companies and to have their support.

Feedback from attendees has also been positive, with some people indicating strong interest in returning to a similar approach to the library’s first edition of Books2Eat in 2019.

“We heard that people were eager to be able to return to a format similar to the very first event we held,” she said. “We’ll look at what next year has in store for us; we’ll host an event for Books2Eat and just see what we can do with the format.

But one way or another, Books2Eat will be back, she added.

The big book sale is the next fundraiser on the program and is scheduled to take place April 26-30. While proceeds from Books2Eat go to general revenue to help support library operations, the book sale is raising money specifically for a new project to replace shelves with children’s books, she said.

The library is a registered charity run by a volunteer board of directors.

About Joey J. Hott

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