Just hours after the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association's annual meeting began in Portland on October 8, news broke of the horrifying wildfires that are racing through Northern California, responsible as of Thursday for at least 23 deaths, hundreds of missing people, and untold damage to properties, businesses, and wineries. Hearing the news, PNBA’s nine-member board immediately decided to double its annual gift to the Book Industry Charitable (BINC) Foundation, which provides financial assistance to booksellers nationwide in times of need.
Brian Juenemann, PNBA’s executive and marketing director, said he’d been in touch with his counterparts in Napa and Sonoma counties. They reported that booksellers, their stores and homes are suffering power loss, unbreathable air, and potentially irreparable structural damage. “We’re in the black and we have a rainy day fund,” Juenemann said. “There’s no reason to sit on that when it can be used by someone else who really needs it. Because it could be us next time.”
His board doubled PNBA’s prior gift, donating $5,000 to BINC “to give them more to work with because they’re inundated as never before,” he said, noting damage from hurricanes Harvey and Irma and, now, the newest fire to hit the burning west, in Santa Rosa, Calif.
Carol Spurling, PNBA vice president and co-owner and manager of Bookpeople of Moscow in Moscow, Idaho, said, “It’s so great to be able to channel our concern into something that can be immediately helpful.”
This year, BINC so far has disbursed $118,000, Juenemann reported.