105 Ways to Give a Book

KidLitCon Report: Part III

In organizing the Kidlitosphere Conference, the one aspect that I really enjoyed working on was the charity raffle. In our previous two conferences, we had a charity component and I was excited to continue that tradition. As I talked to my teen daughter about the concept, we came up with the idea of gift baskets made up of donations from our attendees to put up for raffle. During the week, I pulled together baskets, bags, and boxes along with little “extras” for the prizes — pens, journals, candles, etc. My teen daughter crocheted decorative scarves and tiny book pillows to contribute.

On the afternoon of the conference, my husband brought in my daughters and two friends to pull the donations of the attendees into fun packages. I missed big parts of the last two sessions of the day to help, because it was a bit overwhelming. While we expected to make about ten baskets, we ended up with enough donations to make twice that many! It was tons of fun to put things together, though, and we got to exercise our creative juices in the process.

Before and during the cocktail hour, attendees looked over the prizes, bought raffle tickets, and put their tickets in bags for the ones they wanted to win. This picture is a pretty good summary, showing the tickets in one corner, the party bags to collect the tickets, the array of prizes, and the happy shoppers.

TeenReader was particularly fond of the Black & White Package, which featured a scarf she made, one of my homemade necklaces, bead jewelry made and donated by Maureen, and some super cool books. Her best friend and helper put her raffle tickets in this package and won — quite gleefully, I might add.

I loved the Read to Me Package (even if the kid’s shirt appears to say “Ead to Me” in the photo), which included a shirt donated by Terry, book pillows crocheted by my daughter, a tin of hot chocolate I bought at Ross, and numerous books to share with a child. I’m trying desperately to remember who won that, so please let me know. You can also see a bit of the Halloween Basket, which featured a painted basket, a stuffed black cat, a box, and Halloween picture books.

My fifth grader worked very hard on the Holiday Package, which included books from Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. It also had snowman soap, candles, and a wooden candlestick. (Liz, this would be some of the “stuff from my home,” as opposed to the stray socks you supposed I threw in the mix.) My daughter convinced Jen to put her raffle tickets in for this prize and she did in fact win it.

With all this talk of winning, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, because before the winning there was the dinner. It was a lovely chance to celebrate the day of fun and relax with friends. My husband took pictures of every table, and I’ll post them to Facebook later if anyone wants to grab them. (Unfortunately, my camera isn’t great in dim light so they aren’t stellar.) I will share one representative picture of lovely ladies Laura Lutz, Caroline Hickey, and Sara Lewis Holmes. Don’t they look happy?

After dessert, my husband and the girls drew raffle tickets and gave away the prizes. I’d love to know more of the winners, if you’d care to leave your name in the comments. I do remember Tricia winning the Bearport Bear donated by Bearport Publishing and Greg winning the Electric Company bag donated by PBS. Many of our attendees donated books and journals and jewelry and more, which gave us an amazing raffle! We ended up collecting $550 for our two selected projects at Donors Choose! They haven’t reached their goals yet, so you can still contribute to Literary is Fun-damental and It All Starts with Reading. Tell them that KidLitCon sent you!

After everything was done, we stopped for a group photo. Again, not the best camera for the job but a fun reminder of a wonderful day.

The conference weekend continued for some with an evening at the hotel bar, a Twitter-talk/post-game breakfast, or a stop at Hooray for Books! for an author signing party. For some of us, it included all three. Overall, I was glad I got to spend so much time with so many amazing people over the weekend. It was an awesome event and I’m honored to have played a part in it.

So much so that I’ve signed on for another year. Not organizing in its entirety this time, but as consultant, promoter, and registrar for KidLitCon10, which will be in Minneapolis and will be headed by Brian Farrey of Flux and Andrew Karre of Carolrhoda Books! Welcome to the team!

Thanks to everyone for helping, speaking, donating, supporting, and most of all coming to KidLitCon09!

(Oh, I’m still collecting posts for a Round-Up tomorrow and I’d love to know more of our raffle prize winners. Cheers!)


Suzanne Young said...

Looks like such a great time! I really hope I can make next year!!!!!

Wendy said...

That's me in the shopping picture! Proof that I was really there! The raffle was really a lot of fun, even if I didn't win anything. Your girls did a great job putting stuff together.

Don't forget about cocktail hour, too... some of us were very curious, did we make it to our drink minimum?

Abby said...

Again, it was so, so great! Is it too early to be excited for KidLitCon10? :D

Sara said...

Yay! Minneapolis! Never been there, always wanted to go. And bravo to you for offering to be a consultant---didn't we abuse and wear you out enough? :)

Thank you again for everything. I don't think I can say that enough times.

Also, I'm sure Jama will send her link, but if not, she has Day Two of her magnificent report on the conference. I think that girl's secretly had journalist training...

Melissa said...

Minneapolis! Wow. Never been, and now I've got a good excuse to go.

Thanks so much (again) for all that you did. It was fabulous!

MotherReader said...

Suzanne - I hope that you make it next year too!

Abby - go ahead and get excited for next year, I'll join you.

Sara - I'm a bit worn out, but in a good way. I think. ;^)

Wendy - We did make our drink minimum at cocktail hour. The longer story was that we had a certain overall food and beverage minimum we had guaranteed the hotel, but with attendance below what I expected it was a little iffy on meeting that threshold. I didn't really doubt we'd meet it with the cocktail hour, which we'd have done if everyone bought just one drink. But for those who can sometimes be cheap about overpriced drinks - like me - I figured it might make people feel better if they knew they were contributing to the greater cause.

Michelle said...

The troops did a phenomenal job on the charity raffle. I had a fabulous time this weekend everyone was wonderful and the information I took away is going to be put to great use.


jone said...

Yay!! Minneapolis! How fun will that be! Looks like a fabulous event. You should be proud!

Terry Doherty said...

Yeah! Minneapolis sounds great. How cool to have 2010 already well in hand. Your team set the standards pretty high for the raffle! I hope Brian and Andrew can sing.

I had so much fun I wrote a second post today. http://childrens-literacy.com/2009/10/22/thoughts-from-my-inner-blogger/

Liz B said...

the girls did such a beautiful job!

Karen said...

I loved the raffle, and the baskets were organized in very clever ways -- kudos to your girls and you!! The only sad part was that with $10 worth of raffle tickets, I had no winners. Oh well -- it was for a great cause.

Thanks again for all you did to make this such a memorable weekend.

Bibliovore said...

How exciting! Although I echo Sara--this one didn't do you in?

Forgot to mention it but the raffle was a hit, especially the announcers. Someone mentioned to me that it was especially great having kids there because we all remembered why we do this. And of course, cuz they're adorable.

Thanks for the link, and I'll see you in Minneapolis next year. At that time, we will need a camera with a panoramic setting.

Z-Kids said...

Thanks for the re-caps!

Anna Alter said...

Congrats on an amazing event!!

Anonymous said...

Great job with the raffle! And thanks for rounding up the links.

Kim Baker said...

I'm behind on my blog reading, but wow! Kudos, Pam! I know how much work goes into a conference. That looks incredible. The group picture looks the same as the one we took last year, but with only a few of the same faces. What a big community we have.

I'm bummed I missed it, but my word verification is skyrat. I think it's a sign that I need to hop a plane to Minnesota next year. Good stuff!