Art and BookFair 2018 Review

Fantastic is the word that comes to mind when talking about the 2018 Art and BookFair (ABF). People from within and outside the State Department came and were pleased with our selections and the new set up. For those who could not make it to ABF, we made a new area – Jewelry and Stained Glass. One of our members, Carol Stricker, is a stained glass artisan. Carol made boxes, standing angels, ornaments, and pins. We still have a few remaining, so come to our pre-holiday sale the first part of December to pick up great holiday gifts. More on that later.

The 60+ volunteers we had did a fantastic job of keeping books tidy, helping shoppers, and making the atmosphere pleasant. We never have enough volunteers, but value those who serve.

Art and BookFair would not happen without you and your fine work. Would you like to join us? It’s easy, just call the Book Room at 202-223-5796 and leave a message for Martine, our Book Room Manager. While overseas you can still contribute by purchasing a local item you think others might enjoy. When you return to the States, donate that item to ABF. If every member overseas donates just one item, think of the variety of items we will have at ABF! Be sure to note the country of origin. It helps when people shop.

To those of you who are here, did you know we start in November (that’s now!) to sort and price books and art? We need volunteers who can give just a few hours each month either in the sorting and pricing or in the Book Store. The Art Corner needs volunteers to help sort, clean, look up items, and price. You may not know about things from all over the world, but, you do know about things in countries where you served. Think about it. We are a fun group and are doing a service to the Dept. and are making scholarships and good programs possible.

Back to this year’s ABF. Joanna took some pictures that we hope you enjoy. They give you a “flavor” of ABF. In addition to sharing in a good cause, ABF is a time to renew friendships and make new friends. Our Volunteer Room provides a safe place to leave personal gear as well as stop for a break and munch some goodies while chatting with other volunteers. Our Hospitality Coordinators do a great job of keeping us in goodies that they and other volunteers provide.

The State Department was particularly helpful this year providing extra tables, for example, when our tent company fell short and being very flexible with our needs. Many thanks.

I can almost hear you say, “I’m glad you told us about the Fair and invited us to participate, but how much did we make?” This year we grossed $62,300+ dollars for scholarships and programs! That’s more than $4000 over last year.

One last thing – and this is BIG – thanks to one of the guards, Modibo Quaye, we are sending more than 200 boxes of books to Ghana to start a library. On his off hours, Modibo made arrangements with us to box books at the end of ABF that he will send through his NGO to Ghana. His mother is there where her NGO is leading the construction of the library in his home village in the suburbs of Accra: we have requested pictures. He and we are very excited about this project. It will take some time, but we all can’t wait to see the results!

Anne Kauzlarich
Art and BookFair Chair