2018-05-01 / Shorts

New Heroes at the 2018 AAUW Used Book Sale

The unexpected donation of 9,000 comic books is helping the State College AAUW branch expand its annual book sale, which helps fund its ultimate goal of promoting equity for women and girls
Jennifer Fabiano

From art books to travel guides, with 33 categories in between, the AAUW’s 57th Annual Used Book Sale is a sure sign of spring in Centre County.

This year, book lovers will have a new section to peruse: For the first time, the sale will have a completely separate comics section with comics priced at only $1. “If someone is trying to collect a series, they might be able to find that one book. It’s like a little treasure hunt,” says Donna Trapp, president of the book sale. “I think people will be really excited about it.”

A spread of more than 5,000 comics, from Black Panther to Elektra to Archie Comics, were sprawled throughout Trapp’s living room and kitchen prior to the sale, and that’s only half of the comics that were unexpectedly donated earlier this year. “Some man dropped them off and walked away,” Trapp says.

She decided it would be best to split the nearly 9,000 comics up between the 2018 and 2019 sales, meaning that exciting finds will be available both years. “I have a couple of what I think are one of the first four or five Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” Trapp says.

Trapp worked three hours a night for three and a half weeks alphabetizing comics in preparation for the sale, but it’s all worth it for the branch’s biggest fundraiser.

Last year’s sale grossed $123,000, a number reached thanks to the dedication of hundreds of volunteers who put in thousands of volunteer hours. “It really is interesting to watch… It’s like a well-oiled machine,” Trapp says.

On “move-in day,” the Thursday before the sale, 4,000 boxes are moved from the AAUW workshop in Boalsburg to the Snider Agriculture Arena, where the sale takes place. “They do it within four hours and we set up all the tables,” Trapp says. “Thank goodness students come and volunteer because they have really young backs.”

While a portion of the proceeds go to “keeping the lights on” at the organization’s workshop, all participants are volunteers and the majority of the money is put toward programs that promote equity and education for women and girls in Centre County.  

The group grants four scholarships to women who have decided to pursue their education after it got derailed initially. After a total count of profits from the sale, the AAUW will grant the remaining money to other organizations around State College for programs that promote equity for women and girls. •SCM

AAUW 57th Annual Book Sale:
Snider Agricultural Arena on Penn State’s University Park campus
9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Free admission • cash or check only

May 12: Opening Day of the sale
May 13: Day 2 of the sale
May 14: Half Price Day (All books are half price)
May 15: Bag Day (Customers can fill a bag with books for $7)

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