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Baskets 'stuffed and fluffed' full for library auction

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Johnnie's Fresh Meat Market donated a gift certificate, resulting in a "King-of-the-Grill" themed basket filled with grilling utensils, marinade mixes, a cookbook and more.

A gift certificate for three workouts was the basis for the "Women's Fitness" basket.

Those will be among 54 baskets filled with goodies that will be auctioned at the sixth annual "A Tisket, A Tasket ... A Literary Basket," beginning at 6 p.m. April 20 at in the auditorium of NiSource Gas Transmission and Storage, 1700 MacCorkle Ave. SE.

"We're stuffing and fluffing," explained Jane McEldowney, a member of the Friends of the Library Foundation, which sponsors the fundraiser.

She and other volunteers spent most of Tuesday assembling and prettifying the baskets so they could be photographed and posted on the Kanawha County Public Library's web page -- "to create excitement for the auction," said Friends President Ghee Gossard.

Some people donate baskets already full of products, some give an item on which a theme is based, and others contribute money so basket-appropriate gifts can be purchased. The Friends try to appeal to all ages and both sexes with its basket offerings.

For instance, this year there's the "Landau Car Wash" basket, containing products to clean a car plus a CD by Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., the former Logan carwash employee and winner of the "America's Got Talent" competition.

An "Empty Nesters" basket includes two pairs of comfy slippers, a bottle of wine, books, movie passes and a gift certificate to the Olive Garden.

Because it is a "literary" event, every basket must contain a book, DVD or CD.

All three books in the "Hunger Games" series are in a basket that Becky and Ben Calwell donated for the auction.

And what would be in a "Road Trip" basket? A GPS device, of course, along with old-fashioned maps and a hula doll for the dashboard.

Gossard said the baskets will be stored at the homes of members until taken to the NiSource auditorium for display. The silent auction begins with a $50 bid on children's baskets and $100 for adult baskets.

Major donations will bid on during a live auction at the fundraiser. This year, there are four badge passes to The Greenbrier Classic golf tournament and to the accompanying concerts. Café Cimino in Sutton has donated a dinner for two with overnight lodging at the inn. A family vacation for four at the U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala., will also be in the live auction.

Last year, the basket auction raised more than $30,000, which helped sponsor the Summer Library Club, the West Virginia Book Festival and special programming for children and families.

Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Advance tickets may be purchased online at www.kanawhalibary.org/basketauction or from the Library Foundation's office at 304-343-4646 ext. 283.

Other sponsors of the fundraiser are Kanawha Valley Advertising, The Dow Chemical Co., John and Karen Lukens and Steve and Katy White.

Reach Rosalie Earle at earle@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5115.


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