A book sale that raises money to benefit female students through scholarships is underway in Clarence. The American Association of University Women's annual project continues through the weekend.
The sale grosses an estimated $70,000 yearly, according to AAUW Buffalo Branch president Betty Preble. After the necessary subtractions for expenses including transport, storage and space rental, thousands of dollars remain for scholarship opportunities, including a $5,000 scholarship that is still open to applicants.
"We do a variety of scholarships for mostly women and girls, from the graduate level down to just graduating from high school," said Preble. "We also sponsor projects like Tech Savvy, which is a day-long event in the spring for middle school girls to learn about tech opportunities."
The book sale is being held this year inside the former Buffalo Athletic Club facility at 4687 Transit Road, just north of Eastern Hills Mall. Every room in the building is being utilized to sell books, puzzles, games and media of various genres. Even the former locker rooms are being utilized to sell books.
The prices of the books range from one dollar for hardcover editions to fifty cents for paperbacks. There are some collectibles in one room where prices are higher. Those volumes include antique editions dating back to the 1800s.
The AAUW also offers an interest-free student loan program for women and men currently enrolled in college, Preble added.
The sale continues Saturday, June 2 from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. and then Sunday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. A one dollar admission is required on Saturday but there is no charge to get in on Sunday. Additionally on Sunday, those paying a flat five dollar fee may fill a shopping bag with as many books as they can.
Organizers advise cash and checks are the only acceptable forms of payment.
The AAUW was formed in the late 1800s by college-educated women who were seeking an outlet for their knowledge. The book sales began in the 1930s, according to Preble, as a means to raise funds for various causes.
"We had sponsored nursery schools, helped with the war effort, you name it. If it was a civic thing, we were doing it," she said.