Dear Friends of the Dayton Book Fair, It has been a difficult week for difficult decisions. Out of an abundance of caution and because a significant percentage of our volunteer staff are in the at-risk-for-death age rage for Covid19, we are closing the doors of the book loft effective immediately through Saturday, April 18, when we will re-evaluate. During this time, we will also be suspending pickups from people’s homes and businesses. We understand that some people are of the opinion that the measures being taken at this time are a massive overreaction, I hope they’re right. But it is simply not worth the risk to endanger anyone’s health over second-hand books.
In the meantime, you have all those books you’ve been wanting to read, right?
The Dayton Book Fair announced on Wednesday that they have chosen this year’s three beneficiaries to receive proceeds from their 50th anniversary Book Sale in November 2020. Each beneficiary will receive a grant of around ten thousand dollars.
This year the three beneficiaries are the Dayton International Peace Museum, the Xenia Area Community Theater and WYSO’s Center for Community Voices project.
The Dayton International Peace Museum is the only brick and mortar Peace Museum in North or South America and the houses the only interactive exhibit on the Dayton Peace Accords in the world. They are the official repository for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and run a very successful Peace Camp for children ages 5-12. They maintain changing exhibits on the many challenges to peace and peacemaking including the effects of violence and war, gun culture, poverty, bullying, the environment, and international cooperation.
The Xenia Area Community Theater is an all-volunteer theater and gallery space established in 2005 to serve area interests in performing and fine arts and stimulate community involvement in those areas. They produce eight fully staged plays during their regular season (to date more than 100 productions) along with several summer shows and youth camps. Their plans for the grant from the Book Fair Foundation include a week-long Special Needs Children’s Initiative workshop and performance for children on the Autism Spectrum, and to improve theatre accessibility to a variety of groups whose ability to attend live theater is hampered by ticket cost.
WYSO, the public radio station long-associated with Antioch College has recently separated their university relationship to become an independent entity. While much of their budget pays for nationally syndicated public radio programming, the grant from the Dayton Book Fair will enable them to fund grassroots programming in the Center for Community Voices, for the documentary and story-telling segments produced by Dayton Youth Radio, Women’s Voices (produced by female inmates at a Dayton correctional facility) and County Lines, focusing on the rural populations in our community.
“It is challenging to choose just three,” said Dayton Book Fair Executive Director Larkin Vonalt. “It is a multi-day project for the Foundation’s board to winnow down from dozens of excellent organizations all doing important work to just three.”
Asked about criteria that the board might consider in choosing the finalists, Ms. Vonalt noted that they examine the size of the organization, the need for funding, and how the board feels that the year-long partnership will work.
“There are so many intangibles,” she added, “and at the very end when we’ve narrowed it to just a few, it often comes down to what kind of fit it will be for all of us.”
The Dayton Book Fair board handles grant-making a little differently than other foundations, requiring a year-long informal partnership with the beneficiaries. Organizations chosen are asked to promote the sale through a variety of means, they are encouraged to hold a book drive and required to volunteer at least 40 hours over the year.
Since 2015 the Foundation has made grants to 16 different organizations in the Dayton Community, giving away more than $130,000 over the last five years. The Dayton Book Fair is Ohio’s largest used book sale and each year rehomes about 40 tons of books, records, puzzles, and games.
“While the grant-making is an essential part of our existence, and we are delighted to be able to support so many exceptional Dayton-area non-profits, we have discovered that we have another remarkably important mission in providing a meaningful and purposeful venue where people can donate their beloved books,” Ms. Vonalt commented, noting that they collect books all year round at their office at 2181 Embury Park Rd as well as offering a free pick up service for those who need it and collaborating twice a year with all the Dayton area Grismer Tire Stores for book “round-ups” the last week of May and August.
Those donated books are then sorted, priced and packed for the sale held each year the second weekend in November at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, and the proceeds from that sale used in making grants to community non-profit organizations working in the areas of arts, education, social welfare, literacy and community development.
As we move forward for this year’s sale, we are also looking towards next year’s sale and to that end, we have revamped the application process somewhat.
Instead of “just a letter”, we now have a 3-page application form (not that complicated, just ample space for your answers) and we’d like a letter too and a few supplemental materials– all towards helping us making the best choice we can. (And it is a hard choice, my friends, a very hard choice.)
We admit a slight favoritism towards smaller organizations. We enjoy knowing that the money that we work so hard to give away really makes a difference. Tim, from Caesar’s Ford Theatre Company (one of last year’s beneficiaries) stopped in yesterday (with some books) and good news that the feasibility study that we helped fund is paving the way to not just their success, but ultimately their survival. When we gave the check to Learning Tree Farm (in 2016) it came just in the nick of time– they had to drill a new well for livestock at the farm, in the dead of winter.
But if you’re a larger organization, that doesn’t mean you’re out of the running. We understand that budgets are a funny thing and that you may have an important project that you can’t finance unless you have some money from some other source– like the Book Fair Foundation.
Some people probably find it corny, but really we are serious about community networking and building relationships with the beneficiaries that we choose. Some years this works better than others. If we’re going to just be one of a big list of donors to you this year, we may not be a good match for each other. There are many pieces in the pie that is our mission (Mmm, pie. We love pie, did I mention that?) : keeping books circulating (and out of landfills!) funding a few local non-profits, helping people part with their books in a meaningful way, providing packing and pick up service for those who need it, community development, furthering projects in literacy, and keeping idle bibliophiles off the streets.
We’d like to hear from you. The application packet is below. To be considered it must reach our offices by Tuesday, December 18th (it can be hand-delivered) or be post-marked by Saturday, December 15th.
Everything happens so quickly this time of year. The board met yesterday to discuss plans for this year’s sale, new categories for next year and how we’re going to revise the application process. (And we made waffles.) Wristbands went on sale just past the stroke of midnight– and we’ll start mailing those on Tuesday morning. Posters and postcards and business cards and banners are all on their way to the printer. We’re arranging for forklifts and rented tables and making a map of the new layout (as much like the old layout as possible) for our new digs at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds.
In the midst of this we have to look forward enough to 2019 to choose a figurehead for our 49th sale, so that we can have bookmarks available to give out at our 48th sale. In the past we’ve featured Abraham Lincoln, and Jane Austen and this year Dayton’s own Paul Laurence Dunbar.
In keeping with the local theme, we’re considering Natalie Barney, or Virginia Hamilton or Tecumseh. Maybe we need to look towards a broader realm– to Maya Angelou or Zora Neale Hurston or Geronimo. Mark Twain? Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings? Agatha Christie? Maybe a living writer? If you have suggestions, we’d love to hear them.
Gather up all those stray books, DVDs, records and CDs. Corral your board games, puzzles, and the like and drive them on over to your local Grismer’s during the week between Saturday, August 18 and Saturday, August 25th.
The good folks at Grismer’s will have receipts on hand for you and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that your books are going to a good cause. (Several good causes, actually.) Check out the great work of our 2018 Beneficiaries at this link.
Maybe you should get an oil change while you’re there? There are 17 Grismer’s Tire Stores in the greater Dayton area (including Troy, Springfield and Springboro) and you can find a complete list here.
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for our annual sale starting Friday, November 9th. Wristbands go on sale on this site and by telephone on Monday, October 8th.
You are still welcome to bring books to our office at 2181 Embury Park Road, or if you need help with your donation, call us at 937.999.4491 to arrange for a pick-up. (The service is free.)
The next Dayton Book Fair Round Up is just days away. Our friends at Grismer Tire & Auto Service will again be collecting gently used books, vinyl records, movies, CDs, prints, puzzles, and games at all its locations in Dayton, Springfield, and Troy. Collection barrels will be available from Saturday, August 19, through Friday, August 25.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church – 33 W. Dixon Ave., Oakwood
And last but not least, our friends at Ceasar’s Ford Theatre (one of our 2017 beneficiaries) will be collecting items at their information table at the Fairborn Sweet Corn Festival on Saturday, August 19, and Sunday, August 20.
Don’t forget that your donations to the Dayton Book Fair could be eligible for a tax deduction. Receipts are available wherever you drop off your items.
We are thrilled to announce that through the generosity and cooperation of Grismer Tires we are extending Round Up at every Grismer location in the Miami Valley, Springfield and Troy from Monday, May 15th through Monday, May 22nd. Just bring your books inside to the barrel in the waiting room– don’t forget to get your receipt and new bookmark from the Grismer staff while you’re there.
And of course, on Saturday, May 20th, we’ll be at all our regular locations as well, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and at our Book Loft Location, 2181 Embury Park Road, Dayton at least ’till 3 pm and probably longer.
First United Methodist Church, 60 E. North St. Springboro
Greene County Historical Society, 74 W. Church St., Xenia
Harmony Creek Church 5280 Bigger Rd. Kettering
K12 Gallery 341 S. Jefferson St. Dayton
Miami Valley Unitarian Church, 8690 Yankee Rd. Centerville
Polk Grove Church, 9190 Frederick Pike, Englewood
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 33 W. Dixon, Oakwood
Trinity Church 821 N. Central, Fairborn.
Please note that we will not be collecting at Montgomery County Fairgrounds this spring, even though it said so in the ad– but we WILL be at Fairgrounds for our annual sale, this year Friday November 10 through Monday, November 13, 2017.
The Book Fair Foundation is a 501c3 registered charity, and your donations are tax-deductible. Proceeds from this year’s sale benefit Artemis Center, Caesar’s Ford Theatre Company and Dayton Public Radio.
We welcome donations of books, vinyl records, VHS, DVD, CDs, puzzles, board games, prints and maps.
If you have questions, just give us a call– 937.999.4491.
(And if you can’t manage to bring your donations to us, give us a call to ask about our free pick-up service.)
It’s a wonderful thing, poring over the scores of applications we received this year from fantastic local organizations who need and want our help— Dayton is really lucky to have so many great non-profits. Given the strengths of the applications we received, it was an enormous challenge for our whole board to winnow down the candidates to just three.
But we did it!
We are delighted to announce that the three beneficiaries we chose for 2017 are Caesar’s Ford Theatre Inc., Dayton Public Radio (“Discover Classical”) and the Artemis Center.
Caesar’s Ford Theatre is a fledgling theatre company based in Fairborn who works to bring Ohio history and literature to outdoortheatre, and because their performances are free, they endeavor to make live theatrical works accessible to all. Their mission is to educate the public about the history of Ohio and classic literary works through the performing arts and educational programs. Find out more about Caesar’s Ford Theatre here.
Dayton Public Radio is an independent public radio station, a veritable concert hall that never closes for its 45,000 listeners. Known to its listeners as “Discover Classical 88.1”, the station works to preserve access to the arts for all citizens. Unlike most public radio stations, Dayton Public Radio no university affiliation (and thus no university funding) but is funded almost entirely through donations from its listeners. Learn more about Discover Classical here.
The Artemis Center is committed to ending domestic violence and provides services to victims of intimate partner abuse in conjunction with sheltering offered through the YWCA. Their services include advocacy and counseling, child and adult therapy, court accompaniment, a pantry, and financial assistance with lock changes, cab rides to safety, bus tickets out of town and other services. You can find out more about the Artemis Center here.
In 2016, the Foundation chose FilmDayton, K12 Gallery & TEJAS and the Learning Tree Farm. Each of those organizations was awarded an equal share of the net proceeds from Ohio’s largest used book sale— ten thousand dollars each.
Throughout the year the three organizations will work in concert with the Book Fair Foundation to promote the donation of books, perhaps lending a hand with sorting and pricing and promoting the Book Fair in November. We are very much looking forward to getting to know the folks at these three worthy organizations and working in partnership with them throughout the year. At the end of the year, the three organizations will receive equal shares of the net proceeds of Ohio’s largest used book sale, the Dayton Book Fair.
We understand that boxes of books are heavy and difficult to move. We also know that for some folks, even the job of packing the books can get to be just too much. That’s why we offer a pick-up service for those who need it.
Just call us during regular business hours at (937) 999-4491 (or after hours and leave a message) and we will schedule a time that is convenient for you to pick up your books. We can even bring boxes and pack them if you need help with that.
And it doesn’t have to be that many books. If you need help, just give us a call and we will come and help you. Usually we can arrange to pick up your books within a day or two of your call.
There is no charge for this service, and of course we provide you with a receipt, as any donation you make to the Dayton Book Fair is tax-deductible.
For those of you who’d prefer to bring your books in, we’re open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday 10 to 3 and Wednesday 1 to 7 at 2181 Embury Park Road, in Dayton. And we’ve scheduled our Spring Round up for Saturday, May 20th.
But if you need a pick up, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Someone asked us recently what was one of the best things we did this year. And this was it, hands down.
There’s nothing like handing somebody deserving some cash they can really use.
FilmDayton will use the 10 grand we gave them for workshops. Learning Tree Farm needed work done on their well. K12 will be able to use the money they got from us to expand the occupancy of their building from 69 to more than 300.
This feels good. All the work that we do each year, nearly every single day of the year to make the Book Fair happen is returned to us in gasps of surprise, peals of laughter, pure unadulterated joy. It feels good to give away money.
Today, December 31, is the last day to get your applications in the mail to us, or to drop them by our office at 2181 Embury Park Road. We just need a letter– and the particulars are at this post– How to Be a Beneficiary.
We had a fantastic time this year working with Lisa, Rebecca, and Loralynn– and a shout out to Elaine Bonner for her work in bringing this group together as well. It gives us great pleasure to know that the three beneficiaries from 2016 will stay on as friends of the Book Fair Foundation, as we get ready for the 2017 sale.