Shoppers who came in droves to the 57th annual American Association of University Women book sale Feb. 18-20, 2022, at The Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center made it the most successful in its history.
Book sale chairwoman Kay Raddatz said the event grossed $63,460. Out of that balance, $11,644 came from collectible books. Proceeds fund scholarships for local women returning to college and educational projects and events, she said in a release.
The largest categories in the regular collection were children’s, young adult, cooking, biographies and autobiographies, science fiction and fiction.
“The last two years have been challenging, since the February 2021 book sale had to be canceled because of the pandemic. For three months, all the drop boxes were closed,” Raddatz said.
“There were many months when we could not meet in groups outside our households, so arrangements were made to have sorters work one at a time.”
She surmised that as donations continued to pour in, perhaps people with more time at home were cleaning out closets and book shelves, so the inventory kept increasing.
“Successful pop-up sales were held for eight days in October 2021 in the largest categories to help decrease the inventory and provide much-needed funds for local scholarships and mini-grants.”
In preparation for each sale, members sort books, pick them up from drop boxes and homes, cut boxes to size, price collectible books, manage categories, lead sorts, take cardboard to be recycled, put up yard signs and hand out sale reminder cards .
With 282 shifts needed to run the sale, 100 members volunteered, so many people worked multiple shifts to make it work, Raddatz said. Twenty Walla Walla Community College John Deere program student and staff volunteers, and the Whitman College women’s volleyball team loaded the boxes onto a semi-truck.
Sixty students from the Walla Walla and College Place High schools’ Latino clubs and the Walla Walla Community College women’s basketball team helped set up sale the tables and signs in a ballroom at The Marcus Whitman and carried in the 1,900 boxes.
“We so appreciate their willingness to volunteer and their energy, strength and positive attitude,” Raddatz said.
Members and shoppers told the volunteers they appreciated AAUW’s leadership, organization, set up and book selection.
“Many folks commented that they missed us these past two years and they can’t wait until next year,” Raddatz said.
The sale is a tremendous success because of the community’s donations of books, CDs, DVDs and audio books throughout the year.
Book donations for the sale may be made in drop boxes at Southgate Center Market, 905 S. Second Ave.; Wheatland Bakery, 1828 E. Isaacs Ave.; YWCA Walla Walla in the alley behind the building at 218 S. First Ave.; Grocery Outlet, 910 S. Ninth Ave.; Andy’s Market, 1117 S. College Ave., College Place; and Fry’s True Value, 175 S. Main St., Milton-Freewater.
Arrangements may be made to have large donations picked up by calling 509-386-0421.
Volunteers are welcome and don’t have to be members of the group. As a new AAUW member myself, I helped with the sale on Feb. 18.
The next book comes out will be Feb. 24-26, 2023.