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Toys, books, jewelry and volunteers sought

(Left to right) Nancy Stefanik, Heidi Cassell, Patti Brose, and Claire Rogers, Board Members of the Friends of the Westfield Athenaeum stand in front of early donations for last year’s Toy and Book Drive. (Photo by Peter Currier)

WESTFIELD- The Friends of the Westfield Athenaeum are preparing for the annual Fall Children’s Toy and Book Sale on Friday, Oct. 18, and Saturday, Oct. 19 and the Jewelry Sale on Oct. 19. 

The Friends of the Athenaeum are seeking donations for both sales until Oct. 11. They are looking for toys and books that are new or in good condition for children. Heidi Cassell, co-chair of the book sale for the Friends, noted that no donations of used stuffed animals will be accepted due to the possibility of them having bugs in them. 

“If you have gently used, clean, toys, games, puzzles, CDs, DVDs, children’s or young adult books, please drop them at the Athenaeum during normal library hours Sept. 16-Oct. 12.” said the Friends in a press release. Cassell noted that they will accept used and vintage jewelry donations during that time period as well. 

In the past, the Friends of the Athenaeum hosted the fall toy and book sale in November, but this year they chose to have it in October alongside PumpkinFest. Cassell said that they believe they will get more business for the sale due to the proximity to PumpkinFest. 

The funds raised from the Jewelry Sale and the Toy and Book Sale will benefit Athenaeum programs and services throughout the year.

This year, weather permitting, the sale will be outside on the Friday and Saturday of the sale. Should bad weather force the sale indoors, it will take place in the Lang Auditorium in the Athenaeum. 

On Thursday, Oct. 17, a toy and book preview night will be hosted where educators and members of the Friends can view and purchase items at the sale before the general public. 

“We do offer a $5 coupon for the sale for educators and Friends who come to the preview night.” said Cassell, “We also give a coupon to anyone who wants to become a member of the Friends as well.” 

In previous years of the fall sale, the Friends closed up shop an hour before the library closed. This year, the sale will take place from 4-8 p.m. on Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. 

Cassell said that the Friends are also seeking volunteers for some heavy lifting for the setup and takedown of the sale. 

“We could use some strong arms for setting this up. It’s not for women my age to be doing this.” Cassell joked. 


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