Hundreds of books sold at Rumford Oktoberfest literacy project

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RUMFORD — Hundreds of books were sold for a dime to a quarter each Saturday during the five-hour Oktoberfest literacy project and craft fair at the Rumford Armory.

Volunteers with the River Valley Rotary Club and Hope Association hold the annual event to increase adult literacy, Joe Sirois said during a break from selling books.

“We’ve had a good, continuous crowd and people are still coming in,” he said.

“It’s been a steady stream of people,” said Catherine Johnson-Lavorgna, executive director of Hope Association and current Rotary Club president.

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Paperbacks sold for a dime each while hardcovers went for a quarter, many by well-known authors, including Zane Grey, Louis L’Amour, Alistair MacLean, Michael Crichton and Mary Higgins Clark.

“We’ve sold hundreds and hundreds of books,” Johnson-Lavorgna said. “The biggest thing is getting them out to kids and people.”

It wasn’t about making money, Sirois said. “We’d rather see books go to homes. When you sell them at 10 cents, they go fast. We even have a whole room of children’s books.”

Sirois said Oktoberfest “does really good for us, but it’s more about visibility than making money.”

Raffles and book sales support Hope Association programs and the Rotary’s scholarship fund, Johnson-Lavorgna said. Money raised also supports polio research and medications, nutrition and clean water.

An hourlong hot breakfast of coffee, sausages, fruit and pancakes priced at $4 attracted 25 people, she said.

“Breakfast was wonderful,” she said of the crowd. “We’ve had more traffic this year than last year when we did it the same day as the Pumpkin Fest.”

This year, Oktoberfest happened to be timed with a Halloween costume contest at the Eagles Club. Several children and a few adults garbed in a variety of mostly handmade costumes mingled with the crowd checking out the homemade desserts.

tkarkos@sunjournal.com

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