A big thanks to Alabama Booksmith, and YOU!!

Thanks to Jake Reiss and his staff at Alabama Booksmith for helping raise more than $4,300 for AHF! Jake raffled and auctioned off two signed copies of To Kill a Mockingbird at his Homewood store on August 11. Customers donated $5 for every raffle ticket, totaling about $2,000, and the lucky auction winner took home the book for $2,300.

Author Kerry Madden was on hand last week to draw the raffle winner’s name. Earlier, she spoke to a crowd of about 30 people about her book Up Close: Harper Lee. Kerry traveled to Monroeville several times to interview residents about Harper Lee, even corresponding via letters with Ms. Lee herself. The reclusive author declined an interview, however, saying she didn’t “believe in biographies for the living,” Kerry said.

Although Kerry said she had a plan in mind when she set out to interview people in Monroeville, sometimes she had to just follow where the stories took her. “The plan went out the window and it became something so much better,” she said. A new transplant to Birmingham via California, Kerry said she found her calling as a writer at a young age. “I had a fourth-grade teacher who said I was a good writer,” she said. “It meant something and I just hung on to that.”

Thank you to all the customers who entered the raffle and auction. And a big thanks to Jake and his staff; we here at AHF are so grateful!

For photos from the raffle and auction, please visit Flickr.