Sat, Jan 10, 2009 - Page 16 News List

Books, bands and benevolence

Whose Travel Charity Book Exchange hits Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung tomorrow

By Alita Rickards  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

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In winter, a well-stocked library is almost as comforting as a well-stocked cupboard. Food for thought to while away those chilly gray days is on its way in the form of the Whose Travel Charity Book Exchange to be held tomorrow. While the event is familiar to those in Taichung where it has been held for the last 4 years, this is the first year that it is being brought to Taipei. Last year it was expanded to include Kaohsiung. The goal is to make the annual event island-wide.

The exchange is the brainchild of Whose Travel owner Dale Mackie, who is also the ward of the Canadian Trade Office in Taichung. He teamed up with veteran performer, musician and promoter Patrick Byrne of Moneyshot Horns to create this charity event. Volunteers have been collecting donated books for the past few months, and tomorrow they will be sold for a minimum of NT$50 each. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to a local charity — this year it is the Maria Social Welfare Foundation (瑪利亞社會福利基金會), which provides care and assistance to orphaned and disabled children (on the Net: www.maria.org.tw).

Musicians are donating their artistic skills to make this a fun event, with groups playing at the venues free of charge.

“You run a business here, live here, [so] it’s nice to show the Taiwanese community that we do have a sense of caring for deeper social issues and don’t just come here to work,” said Byrne. “[We’re] trying to become a more integrated part of the community. I’ve always worked along the same lines musically as well.”

Though traditionally most of the books gathered for this event have been in English, this year the organizers canvassed for more Chinese-language books. The event is well-known in the south of Taiwan where donations are plentiful, but for those in Taipei, it’s not too late. Feel free to donate unwanted books at Bliss today and tomorrow morning.

In all three cities the event starts at noon tomorrow and goes until 9pm, with a wide variety of books available from the minimum donation up to whatever price you put on supporting charity.

From 10pm today, there will be a pre-party at 89K, 21 Takuan Rd, Nantun Dist, Taichung City (台中市南屯區大觀路21號) with Skaraoke and Byrne’s band Moneyshot Horns from 10pm.

In Taichung, the fund-raiser will be held at Frog 1, 105, Huamei W St Sec 1, Taichung City (台中市西區華美西街一段105號) and features music by Pat Reid, Landis, Three Day Bender, City of Earth, The Rising Hedons and The Dolittles.

In Kaohsiung, it’s at Foster Hewitt’s Pub and Grill, 30 Wenchung Rd, Kushan Dist, Kaohsiung City (高雄市鼓山區文忠路30號) featuring Ryan Fernandes solo, Uli and the Rulers, and the Juan Peruvian Band.

In Taipei, the event is at Bliss, 148, Xinyi Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市信義路四段148號) with music by Nate Javens (of Public Radio), Thoroughly Modern Dinosaurs (a new project by Greg Russell), The Sons of Homer and The Dana Wylie Band.

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