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Novel Night A Big Hit

A Mad Tea Party dinner party with primary host Margaret Davis, and celebrating Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. (Photo by David Jolkovski for Sedona Public Library)

A Mad Tea Party dinner party with primary host Margaret Davis, and celebrating Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. (Photo by David Jolkovski for Sedona Public Library)

Sedona Public Library celebrated the new Village Library on Oct.1 with a an inaugural fundraising event designed to celebrate literature, literacy, community, and ultimately food, fun and friends.

Novel Night was a tremendous success, and as hoped, it served as the first of what will become a signature event for the community and Sedona Public Library in the Village.

The Library is grateful to the 90 guests, 25 themed-dinner hosts, 43 individuals and businesses who contributed twice as many items for the silent auction, both of our sponsors, all of the Library staff, and dozens of volunteers including the planning committee. As they say . . . it takes a Village! With all your help, we made well over $16,000, a solid beginning for this important new library.

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Around the World dinner party, with primary host, Chuck Marr, celebrating Around the World in 80 Days. (Photo by David Jolkovski for Sedona Public Library)

Many wondered how we came up with the idea for this fundraiser: hosting several book-themed costume dinner parties in the community followed by an After Party back at the Library? Well, it is a good idea, and I did what all great writers and event planners do: I stole it!

The Town of Pelham Public Library in New York has celebrated Novel Night for over 20 years. Their nonprofit Friends group produces it bi-annually with 40 parties hosting 20+ guests each. It is a signature event for this small town with population and history not unlike Sedona and Big Park/Village of Oak Creek.

The Village Library supporters enthusiastically embraced this novel fundraiser, and with the work of a small committee who initially met just a year ago, we created Novel Night. Here’s comments from Novel Night guests.

“Novel Night was such a fun evening. The food was fabulous, and I was able to meet numerous new people. I also really enjoyed the After Party where we were able to see all the costumes while indulging in champagne and a plethora of yummy desserts. The event was incredibly well organized. I sure hope they do it again next year!” From Cindy, who attended the party Calling All Suffragettes and Suffragents, primary host Carolyn Fisher based on “Stories from Suffragette City” by M.J. Rose and Fiona Davis.

“Books? Trivia? Riddles? Contrariwise rules? Croquet with a flamingo and hedgehogs? Amazing costumes? This fundraiser couldn’t get any better - only it did. We supported our VOC branch of Sedona Public Library by eating, drinking, and socializing with like-minded book lovers. No one lost their head and everyone made it safely to the After Party for even more fun. I admit that I didn’t win any of the (amazing) silent auction items. The competition was fun and fierce, and I was distracted by the plates of chocolates everywhere. Count us in for next year!” From Jackie, who attended A Mad Tea Party with primary host Margaret Davis and celebrating “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll.

“Success!!! The Novel Night was a total success! We so enjoyed the whole evening. The dinner party was fun…the food delicious. The After Party was so well planned and executed. Tish did great job with the silent auction and setup. The music contributed a wonderful ambiance. And, the dessert bites and champagne were yummy. Well done! We can’t wait to be a part of it next year!!! From Jennette who attended one of two Meet the Gatsby’s parties, this one hosted by Tom and Jane Binnings, celebrating “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

“The evening was delightful, enjoyable, fun and a smashing success . . . my thanks to the staff who worked so hard to provide this memorable evening for us on behalf of the Sedona Public Library in the Village . . . clearly demonstrating your dedication and loyalty . . . At closing of the dinner I attended, several guests complimented Library personnel for their creativity and expressed their sincere appreciation for the superb organization of the event and their gratitude for the new Library in the Village. Everyone asked if we would do this next year. The idea blossomed into a unique event that will be long-remembered; but more importantly, serve as a reminder of the importance of libraries.” From Linda, who attended Around the World, with primary host Chuck Marr, and celebrating “Around the World in 80 Days.”

Thank you, again, to everyone who made this night a success, and if you didn’t get your ticket this year, be sure to do so next year. Or if you think you’d like to host a party, let me know, amackler@sedonalibrary.org. And, if you’d like to support Sedona Public Library in the Village? You can, just visit sedonalibrary.org/donate.

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