(part of a new monthly series)

How did you first hear or learn about Books for Keeps?

Board member Camilla Bracewell contacted me when the Development Committee was looking for fundraising ideas, and another board member, Joyce Waller, brought up bunco as an idea. They knew that I had organized bunco events before for Piedmont Athens Regional Hosital, so they asked me if I would like to help. I said “sure,” and my involvement started there!

How long have you been volunteering or serving with Books for Keeps?

I started volunteering with bunco planning in October of 2017 for the January 2018 Bunco for Books event, and I officially joined the Development Committee soon after.  I then joined the BFK board in January of this year.

Why did you choose to serve on the Books for Keeps’ board?

Camilla indicated that Books for Keeps was looking to grow their board and asked me if I would be interested- and I said yes. I had retired the fall before, and I knew that I wanted to up my involvement in volunteering. This organization is something that really appeals to me because of my love of reading and because it really speaks to my background as a manager. Helping students be better and have bigger futures directly impacts our future workforce, as well as their lives.

Have you had an inspiring/memorable interaction with a student since working with Books for Keeps? (This can be a direct interaction or something you observed.) If so, tell us about it.

My only opportunity to work with students so far was volunteering at the Athens Farmer’s Market last year, and it was great having the parents and kids come by our booth and talk about knowing about Books for Keeps. Kids actually got really excited because they knew about Books for Keeps and what we were doing for them in schools. One student was even carrying around his BFK tote bag! But I’m really looking forward to having the opportunity to participate in book distributions for the first time this spring.

Have you worked with other non-profits in the past? Which ones?

I worked for Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital for 25 years before retiring last year, and I also volunteered for the Susan G. Komen Walk to End Breast Cancer for 11 years.

What strengths are you bringing to Books for Keeps?

I definitely have strength in managing projects that will assist in the planning of events. I’ve also been in the Athens community for 25+ years, and I’m looking forward to talking to the many people I’ve met while living in the area about Books for Keeps. And my management background will help me speak to businesses and community members about the economic impact of Books for Keeps’s program.

What is your favorite memory from working with Books for Keeps?

Hearing that we made $11,000 from the 2019 Bunco for Books event was a big one, because it felt great to have the team’s hard work pay off. I also helped to organize a hospital wide book drive at Piedmont Athens Regional last fall that collected over 3000 books! And seeing the BFK warehouse for the first time FILLED with books. So there are a few!

Do you have a keen childhood memory related to a particular book? Or an experience with reading – to yourself or to a loved one?

When I was a kid, I discovered Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. From that point on, there was no turning back. Anything I could get my hands on I would read.

What is your absolute favorite book?

The Source by James Michener. It was an assignment my senior year in high school, but I didn’t get it all the way done. I decided to pick it up again when I was in my 20s, and I have since read and reread it maybe five times.  I also love biographies and mysteries probably more than any other genre.

What would you read if you could only read one book for the rest of your life?

The entire Encyclopedia Brittanica.