The ABAA's ever-steady Benevolent Committee, under the auspices of yours truly, will be roaming the aisles at the Oakland Book Fair this coming February 6th-8th, encouraging all to reach deep and channel their inner Carnegies (Andrew, not Dale). As there have been a few last-minute changes, I wanted to take this opportunity to update our readers on the opportunities we’ll be providing to contribute to the Benevolent and Woodburn Funds throughout the weekend.
First of all, I’ll note with sadness that our annual Benefit Poker Tournament, which was a huge success in 2014 and which had been scheduled to take place Thursday night following the Exhibitors’ Reception, has been cancelled. It was red tape, not a lack of enthusiasm, that doomed the tournament for this year, and I can promise all you high-rollers that we’ll be dealing cards again in Pasadena in 2016. In the meanwhile, I hope all who planned on participating will consider donating their entry fees to the Woodburn Fund, which provides bookseller scholarships to the Rare Book School and the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar. Having been personally involved with each of these entities — very personally involved, in the case of CABS — I can attest to the excellent work they do providing continuing education to both novice and experienced members of the antiquarian book trade. One look at the list of ABAA members admitted over the past five years, many of whom have been direct recipients of Woodburn scholarships and many others of whom have been graduates of the programs the Fund helps support, will tell you all you need to know about the importance of the Woodburn’s mission in maintaining the vitality of our Association. We’ll have donation jars prominently placed at Thursday night’s Exhibitor Reception, and I hope you’ll allow your generosity to flow in proportion to the wine, collegiality, and good spirits you’ll encounter there.
Also, please don’t forget that on Sunday morning, PBA Galleries will be hosting its second annual Benefit Auction, also in support of the Woodburn Fund, beginning at 8 in the morning. Approximately 40 lots have been donated to the auction by ABAA members, and they’ll be offered following the regularly catalogued portion of the sale. PBA has taken on this event for two years now, charging no seller’s commission and offering valuable space in their catalog for the benefit of the Woodburn and Benevolent Funds. Last year’s event raised in excess of $20,000 for the Benevolent Fund — a huge and needed infusion for this most worthy of charities. Please join me in thanking Sharon Gee and her staff at PBA, as well as all the ABAA members whose generous donations are making this year's sale possible. And please — if you can — rouse yourself a little early on Sunday and come contribute to the bidding. There were some terrific items in the sale last year that went for peanuts: let’s not allow that to happen again!
Finally: you don’t need a special event to contribute to either of our Association’s charitable funds! We have 24-hour live links to donate to The Antiquarian Bookseller’s Benevolent Fund or The Woodburn Fund — all you need do is provide your credit card number, or send a check; you’ll get a friendly letter in the mail a couple of weeks later, thanking you for your donation, signed by one of our crack Headquarters staff (autographs sure to rise in value!). No donation is too small, and all donations are tax-deductible. What’s even better: all donations will make you feel good, and you’ll have the pleasure of knowing you’re an active participant in the ABAA’s overarching mission to “...support educational programs and research into the study of rare books, and to facilitate collegial relations between booksellers, librarians, scholars, and collectors."
Image: Detail of The Laws and Practice of the Game of Euchre: as Adopted By the Washington, D. C., Euchre Club. By A Professor - to which is added the Rules for playing "Draw Poker" by Charles Meehan (Offered by James Cummins Bookseller, Inc.)