Beaufort’s ‘quiet’ charity rings up big sales

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By Lanier Laney
In the tradition of the libraries they work for, Beaufort’s Friends of the Library’s Annual Fall Book Sale is one of the “quietest” charity fundraising events in Beaufort’s Social Calendar. But quiet work brings in big returns as more than $25,000 of much-needed funds is raised each year, with all of those funds used directly for summer reading programs, and even things like a $20,000 gift to the Lobeco branch for furniture and shelving.

Helen Koutroulakis, left, searches through books with her mother Margaret Koutroulakis. The two are visiting family on Lady's Island and took the opportunity to visit the book sale. Photo by Bob Sofaly

Geni Flowers, assistant director of libraries at USCB and book sale chairman, deserves a big thank you from users of the three northern Beaufort County library branches — downtown Beaufort, Lobeco and St. Helena — for all the money she and her hard working group of volunteers have quietly raised over the years.  Geni credits Fred Wilson and Dave Peterson along with a cadre of wonderful volunteers for their diligent year-round work taking in donated books and getting the books organized and ready for the yearly fall sale that always occurs the last weekend in September. A smaller spring sale will be held at the library in April.
It only costs $10 a year ($15 for a family) to become a member of Friends of the Library and this allows you to participate in the special Members Preview day on Friday before the annual book sale, giving you first pick at the books.  Ask at the circulation desk of the library for a membership form or contact Elena Mosakowski at mosakowski@hotmail.com. Bernie Kole is current board president of FOL.
Beaufort’s Boy Scout Troop #1 also deserves a big thanks for doing such a good job protecting the books at night from rain storms during the three-day event  at the Waterfront Park Pavilion.
This event survives and succeeds on your donated books. Donations can be dropped off at the main downtown branch and they will give you a signed sheet at the circulation desk that you can use as part of your donations on your taxes.  The library does not determine the value of your donated books, you do.   Please remember the library before the end of the tax year this year.  Money raised helps so many, both the upcoming generations and everyone else who uses and benefits from programs at the libraries. The Beaufort branch of the library is located at 311 Scott St., downtown, between Craven and Port Republic streets. Please call (843) 255-6456 for hours as they have been shortened due to budget cuts.

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