Photography by Heather Haynes
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Bobby Gear Memorial Charity Auction at Balticon

In the early years BSFS sponsored a charity auction at Balticon to raise money to sponsor Reading is Fundamental program/programs at a school in Maryland. In 2006 the auction was renamed the "Bobby Gear Memorial Charity Auction at Baltcon" in honor of BSFS member Bobby Gear to commemorate her years of service as a school teacher and BSFS volunteer.

Reading is Fundamental subsequently changed their policies so it was no longer possible to target funds to a school or schools inside Maryland, but it was important to us to keep the work alive. Therefore we started the BSFS Books for Kids program.

BSFS Books for Kids will gift funds raised to the PTA, or program at the school administered by the Maryland Book Bank, at selected school for the purchase of books ordered by students for personal recreational reading. The books will become the personal property of the students. In addition, BSFS Books for Kids collects book donations for local school libraries, as requested by their resident librarians.

Items for the auction are donated by both individuals and companies and generally have a SF or fantasy theme. Author signed copies of books, art work, games, and SF collectibles are very popular donated items.

The auction at Balticon is generally held during the masquerade half-time while the judges deliberate and the audience waits to hear the winners. A second session of the auction is held on Sunday following the art auction. Items available for auction are displayed in the Art Show. To donate items for the auction throughout the year, or for other details about the auction in any given year, please contact "BooksForKids at balticon dot org".

If you would like to bring your donations for the Bobby Gear Memorial Charity Auction with you to Balticon, they can be dropped off at the Convention Operations Office as listed as ConOps in the program book.

Thank you for supporting youth literacy in Maryland!

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