3rd Annual Book Lovers’ Lunch
Featuring Author Luis Alberto Urrea

The 3rd Annual Books Lovers’ Lunch was a huge success!  The lunch took place Friday, May 9, 2014, at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park. Over 200 guests attended this SOLD OUT event, featuring award-winning author Luis Alberto Urrea, bestselling author of The Hummingbird’s Daughter, Into the Beautiful North and Queen of America.

The lunch kicked off with a book signing by Urrea. Luis delivered a keynote presentation about his life, work, and love of books. In this presentation, Urrea explained his feeling of connection to our mission.

“I was one of the kids Bernie’s helps. It’s no exaggeration to say every book we had was worth a fortune to me,” said Urrea. “A used paperback on a shelf made me the richest kid in the neighbor-hood. My parents’ greatest gift to me was a love of books.”

Following the presentation was a heartfelt message from Bernie’s Book Bank Founder and Executive Director, Brian Floriani, a paddle raise, as well as a raffle drawing for exciting prize packages. The afternoon concluded with a surprise auction for a personalized, one-of-a-kind handmade book that features poetry, prose, and illustrations by Urrea.

BLL Host Committee

Some of our fabulous Host Committee members with Executive Director Brian Floriani and Author Luis Urrea


The 3rd Annual Book Lovers’ Lunch raised enough money to collect, process, and distribute 150,000 quality books to 25,000 more at-risk children with 6 books each! Special thanks to our amazing co-chairs, Jacqueline Babb, Allison Derr and Maureen Grinnell for making this event possible. And of course, thank you to our hosts and guests for helping us increase book ownership among at-risk infants, toddlers and school-aged children throughout Chicagoland!




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