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Another bestseller: Volunteers raise $43,635 for Concordia students!

2024 edition of the Concordia EPIC Used Book Fair — powered by students, faculty, staff and alumni — was the largest in its history. And its most successful.
March 25, 2024

Four volunteers wearing red aprons with the text "Concordia Used Book Fair Volunteer" are smiling for the camera, holding a stack of books each, at an indoor book fair with other attendees in the background. Student volunteers Lina Benchekroun and Nicole Hannaford with event organizers Luke Quin, senior communications advisor, University Advancement, and Jeanne Bisson, assistant to the president, Office of the President

The Concordia EPIC Used Book Fair has lived up to its name and then some.

Commandeering the atrium of the J.W. McConnell Building on March 12 and 13, the expansive pop-up welcomed thousands of supporters. Many were made aware of the happening through a promotional Instagram reel published by Concordia’s alumni account, which garnered some 121,000 views.

More than 10,000 second-hand books were purchased to support our first-rate students. The volunteer-led effort raised a record $43,635.

The fundraiser, counted in the Campaign for Concordia: Next-Gen Now, brings the cumulative total raised by the fair to more than $325,000 over its 23-year history.

“We’re grateful that Concordians and community members came out en masse to generously support our students,” says the event’s volunteer co-lead, Jeanne Bisson, assistant to the president, Office of the President.

“I extend my sincere thanks to our many dedicated volunteers who worked hard to make this event a best-seller. Clearly, Concordians love books and giving back!”

In the months leading up to the fair, dozens of volunteer student and staff, as well as 20 retirees and members of the Concordia Pensioners' Association, met weekly to triage book donations.

At the event, 19 athletes from the Concordia Stingers men’s rugby team helped set up and tear down the fair. They were assisted by 18 members of Concordia’s Office of the Treasurer and Chief Investment Officer.

A group of individuals wearing Concordia logo t-shirt's posing with boxes in an indoor setting. Members of the Concordia Stingers men’s rugby team helped set up and tear down the fair. From left to right: Jackson Veinot, Libor Steffek, Mitch Khury, Calvin Zullo, Jack Weller, Alex McNicholl (sitting), Nicholas Gagnon, Luca Scarra, Kai Fitzgibbon Ockenden and Yahia El Sharkawi.

Some 60 other students, alumni and retirees volunteered throughout the two-day event to serve customers. Many students added their volunteer experience to their co-curricular record.

All shoppers were asked to donate $2 to enter the fair before purchasing a wide variety of books for $3 and up.

Remaining books were given to select community groups, including Books to Prisoners and NouLa, Concordia’s Black student centre.

“Our annual tradition would not be possible without the steadfast commitment of Concordians across the university,” says volunteer co-lead Luke Quin, BA 07, senior communications advisor, University Advancement.

A group of cheerful volunteers wearing red aprons that read "Concordia Used Book Fair Volunteer" are standing behind boxes filled with books at an indoor event. Members of Concordia’s Office of the Treasurer and Chief Investment Officer helped set up the more than 20,000 books on display at the 2023 Concordia EPIC Used Book Fair.

“The Office of the VP, Services and Sustainability, including its Distribution Services and Hospitality Services, plays a critical role in providing year-round logistical support for our ambitious undertaking.”

“We are equally grateful for support provided by University AdvancementInstructional and Information Technology Services (IITS)Financial Services, and the Office of the President.

The majority of funds raised will fund student scholarships, including a scholarship for a Stingers athlete.

Another $5,000 will go to the Student Emergency and Food Fund, which notably provides grocery store gift cards to students experiencing food insecurity.  

Concordians and friends of the university may donate new and used books, year-round, at the loading docks of either the Henry F. Hall Building on Sir George Williams Campus, or Richard J. Renaud Science Complex on Loyola Campus, as well as in the large pink book bin in the Hall Building mezzanine.


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