Children's, tweens' books numerous at Big Fall Book Sale

| Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

When the FRIENDS of the Carnegie Free Library Big Fall Book Sale takes place 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, shoppers will have a huge new selection of 1,400 children's and tweens' books from which to choose, including hundreds of other titles and varieties available for everyone.

“Thanks to our village of FRIENDS all the way from Littleton, Massachusetts, we received over 1,400 childrens and tweens books,” said Karen Macko, FRIENDS member and cookie jar chairwoman.

Jennifer Pletcher, daughter of Connellsville's Ted and Phyllis Kovall, organized a fundraiser for her daughter Finley, who suffers from a rare genetic disease called LCA. For the event, Pletcher asked everyone to bring a children's book to donate to their local library in Middleton.

Macko said more than 1,400 books were collected, sorted by age groups, and packed up.

“To our good fortune, the library in Middleton does not have book sales,” said Macko. Macko said Pletcher immediately thought of the FRIENDS of the Carnegie Free Library because so citizens of Connellsville and surrounding communities are extremely involved in “Finley's Fighters” fundraisers spearheaded by Finley's grandparents, Ted and Phyllis Kovall and Ben and Sally Pletcher.

These fundraisers are held throughout the year. In fact, the next event is a trip to the Rivers Casino on Friday.

“The books traveled all the way from Littleton in the Kovall's van and were happily received by the FRIENDS. Ty Stokes and Brandy Layman, two students who worked in the library this summer, began sorting this amazing gift,” Macko said.

“Connellsville has always been so supportive of Finley that Jennifer felt this was an excellent opportunity to give back to the community and the library,” said her mother Phyllis Kovall.

Children will love to browse through the 1,400 books, said Macko. Many of the children's and tweens' books are new.

Macko said FRIENDS are grateful to those who continue to donate books year round that can then be sold at the two yearly book sale events.

“It is easy to remember the FRIENDS two yearly book sale dates — we go by the clock — in the fall when the time changes we all fall back an hour and in the spring when we all spring forward an hour, you can always expect a FRIENDS book sale that is filled with diversity located by zones,” said Rose Galik, FRIENDS member and chairwoman of the book sales.

Andy's Cranberry Cookies and FRIENDS Death By Chocolate will be served along with coffee in the library kitchen, Galik said.

Shoppers who visit the Big Fall Book Sale Saturday will be able to fill a bag (supplied by the FRIENDS) with books for $5. If you purchase a FRIENDS canvas bag for $8, it is twice the size of the supplied bag and you may then fill it to the brim with books for free. If you have purchased a FRIENDS canvas bag at other sales, you may bring it and fill it for $5.

Books available include romance, westerns, biographies, fiction, non-fiction, cookbooks, self-help, art, travel, DIY, health, spiritual, books on tape, large print and more.

The sale is held in the basement of the library. For those who purchase bags full, helpers to carry them to your car will be there.

“All the hunting and gathering has been completed for the construction and sale of the FRIENDS Seasonal Cookie Jars. This is quite a process and we are grateful that we have so many loyal volunteers who help us put the jars together,” said Macko.

Linda Ruth, jar assembly chairwoman said volunteers recently met and formed an assembly line to create Andy's Cranberry Cookies and FRIENDS Death by Chocolate in quart jars. The jars are decorated and tagged.

Ruth said anyone who pre-ordered a cookie jar can come in on Saturday and pick them up.

The FRIENDS motto for the jars is “from jar to table in 10 minutes.”

The Seasonal Cookie Jar sales will be conducted from Saturday through Dec. 7, when FRIENDS will host a holiday vendor event in the the library's auditorium in conjunction with “It's A Connellsville Christmas.”

Area residents stroll through the library and visit the many booths that will be set up. If you would like to display your work and secure a table, contact Cathy Kumor at 724-628-1380.

“All the vendors were very happy with sales at last year's event and we look forward to welcoming some new craftsmen and women, clubs, and artists,” said Kumor, chairwoman for the event.

Nancy Henry is a contributing writer.

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