10th Annual Book Lovers’ Luncheon Recap

On Sunday, November 22, 2015, the Hopewell Valley Education Foundation presented the 10th annual Book Lovers Luncheon at Greenacres Country Club in Lawrenceville, NJ.  The featured speaker at this year’s event was Christina Baker Kline, author of the bestselling novel, Orphan Train.  Ms. Kline’s riveting story of the thousands of children who were collected from the streets of New York City and sent to farmers, seamstresses, and households throughout the Midwest and the plains states in the late 19th and early 20th centuries brought 300 guests to hear her speak.  Her remarks to the attendees focused on how she first became aware of and interested in the stories of these children and the extensive research she conducted over a five year period before she was ready to tell their story in her novel.

 

Over the ten year history of the Book Lovers Luncheon, which raises money annually to bring authors to the six Hopewell Valley Regional schools, the luncheon has sold out in advance several times.  This year the event was completely sold out a full month in advance.  The number of people attending (300) also set a record, easily surpassing the previous record of 250.  Carol Jackson, who originated the Book Lovers Luncheons, asks guests each year how many belong to book clubs.  For the past several years, the average has been around 85.  Ms. Kline’s talk brought a record 115 book clubs to Greenacres.

BLL  Committee Leader for 10 years, Carol Jackson with Author Christina Baker Kline

BLL Committee Leader for 10 years, Carol Jackson with Author Christina Baker Kline

Left to Right: Shannon Schafer, Kathy Mikalsen, Christina Baker Kline, Carol Jackson, Terri Genova and Meredith Van Pelt.

Left to Right: Shannon Schafer, Kathy Mikalsen, Christina Baker Kline, Carol Jackson, Terri Genova and Meredith Van Pelt.

Volunteers are an invaluable part of planning, organizing, and helping with every aspect of each luncheon.  In addition to lunch and the speaker, the event features the extremely popular “book club worthy” used book table where books are sold for $5 each.  Guests donate books to the table and often leave with more of these books than they brought.  There is a silent auction as well.  All proceeds go to the school district once expenses are paid.  New volunteers are always welcome.  For more information contact Carol Jackson through the Hopewell Valley Education Foundation web site, www.hvef.org.

Jane Lee with her mother, Betty Hall, Christina Baker Kline and Jane's daughter, Betsy Lee.  Betsy won an Irish blanket donated by Landau's in Princeton in one of many auction events.

Jane Lee with her mother, Betty Hall, Christina Baker Kline and Jane’s daughter, Betsy Lee. Betsy won an auction for an Irish blanket graciously donated by Landau’s in Princeton.

Long Time BLL attendee, Carol Bajor, with author Chirstina Baker Kline.

Long Time BLL attendee, Carol Bajor, with author Chirstina Baker Kline.

The Book Lovers Luncheon is held in late October or November of each year.  The HVEF web site posts information about each year’s guest speaker and reservation information beginning in mid-September.  The yearly event will begin its second decade with next fall’s speaker.  We hope you’ll join us.