Autographed books up for grabs
By Kristin Wilson, September 3, 2003
The Sentinel, Carlisle
A sweater signed by Bette Midler and an autographed John Grisham novel are among the items up for bid at Friends of Bosler Free Library’s 21st annual benefit auction gala Oct. 18.
Seasoned benefit volunteer Pat Mastandrea says she has been contacting celebrities and asking for donations for 10 years. She worked for the Red Cross and an AIDS organization in Lancaster before volunteering her time with Bosler Library’s annual auction.
“Because it’s a library, I thought it would be really fun to have lots of autographed books,” Mastandrea says.
So far, the benefit has collected more than 20 signed books for the October auction. Mastandrea says she wrote to more than 100 authors requesting signed, donated copies of their books.
Movie posters, too
She also managed to secure posters from “Adaptation” and “Men In Black II,” signed by the casts.
A sweater signed by Bette Midler, a cap from “Judging Amy” and a reading poster signed by Whoopi Goldberg will also be auctioned.
“It’s really wonderful to know how generous some people are,” Mastandrea says of the celebrity donors.
She has worked with several celebrities throughout her benefit career and says some are always willing to donate.
Other changes are in store for gala-goers.
The auction committee hopes to improve the event by holding it – for the first time – at Bosler Free Library on West High Street.
“It was time for a change,” says auction co-chairwoman Pat Fischer. “They had 20 years of the same format. It was time to shake things up a little bit.”
Previously the event was held at Dickinson College and drew hundreds of bidders who raised thousands of dollars to benefit Carlisle’s public library.
Library in spotlight
Fischer says a benefit held at the library will remind donors and bidders how their money is used.
“The emphasis will be on highlighting the areas of the library funded from previous auctions,” she says. Donated items will be on display throughout the library the night of the gala.
The timing of this year’s auction is also different. In the past, the auction always took place at the beginning of the summer, around Memorial Day, but organizers say they wanted to completely change the event this year.
Although organizers are trying new things to keep the event “fresh,” they admit there is increased competition among community non-profit groups for funding.
“I think there are so many people that are needy,” says Mastandrea.
“The budget cuts have caused problems,” she adds.
Fischer says the library also experienced significant cuts in its state funding this year.
Auction organizers hope their October date will work well since it is before winter weather and holidays. The date also coincides with the release of the new Bosler Cookbook. (See D1 for details)
Will buy more books
With the money raised at this year’s auction, the Friends hope to expand the selection of history, biography, gender and ethnic studies books and add to the “Pennsylvania collection,” which includes books on local, regional and state history.
Last year’s auction brought in about $18,000. In previous years, the auction grossed as much as $50,000.
Fischer says the Friends have not set a monetary goal they hope to reach this year.
“We want to make as much money as we can for the library,” she says.