Books and bright smiles
Secaucus mini-fair raises $10,000 for library
by Joseph Passantino
Reporter staff writer
Oct 06, 2013 | 6451 views | 0 0 comments | 181 181 recommendations | email to a friend | print
 PRIZED POSSESSION – Dolores Viscardo of Centre Avenue shows off her purchase from the “Trash & Treasure” table.
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Clear skies and a cast of dozens translated into a successful Friends of the Secaucus Public Library 16th Annual Mini-Fair/Used Book Sale on Sept. 21, raising more than $10,000 to benefit library programs.

“I feel that this mini-fair was a success both as a fundraiser and more generally as a community event,” said Jenifer May, library director.

Great deals

Shoppers were at the Trash & Treasure Table bright and early on this summer morning, looking for bargains and shopping thrills.

“This is really a high for us,” said Dolores Viscardo of Centre Avenue.

“If you find something good then your blood pressure goes up,” joked Frank Boy of Eighth Street.

Thousands of used books were available under a tent and on the library lawn, only a $3 charge for as many as you could fit into a bag.
“The mini-fair/used book sale was a huge success.” – Zinnia Miller
There were a number of choices to please the palate at the mini-fair. Among the food vendors were the Philippine BBQ, Thumann’s Hot Dogs, Indian Food by Mausam, and Filomena’s and Natoli’s delicatessens.

The locals

Other tables were selling goods, raffles, or giving out information. Among them were Artsmart of NY/NJ, Dance Power Studio, Kerri Smith Academy of Irish Dance, Kulture Kool South Asian Arts & Culture Center, and Kipnis Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine.

Lauren Farrell and Susan Cuffari were representing Kipnis, a neighbor to the library.

“We’re here to address wellness and preventive medicine,” Farrell said, “to address issues like balance and fall prevention.”

“We want all of our senior citizens to live healthy lives,” Cuffari said.

Knight of Columbus Mary Immaculate Council was fingerprinting children as a public service. The Unico National Secaucus Chapter was selling Italian ices, with profits donated to the library. The Secaucus Animal Shelter had a presence with a lemonade stand, as did the Empire Realty Group, selling snow cones to also benefit the shelter.


Anoop Bajoria of Paterson Plank Road was there with his son, Arav, 3, making a colored sand keychain. Hema Keshav of County Avenue was there with her daughter, “to see the books and the stalls. Just for fun.”

Councilman Robert Costantino also stopped by and praised the library volunteers and supporters.

“Today’s great. This event’s been going on for a while,” he said. “It’s just another day in Secaucus where the community comes together.”

Baking contest winners

After much tasting and discussion, Kathy O'Connell's cheesecake was selected Best in Show in the baking contest. Winners in the other categories were Eleanor Halechi, Best Pie, for her sweet potato offering; Florence Colavito, Best Cheesecake, for her strawberry creation; Simran Rajani, Best Cake, for her Black Forest entry; her daughter Mira Rajani, Best Cookie/Bar/Cupcake for her madeleines; and Jessica Kosky, Miscellaneous, for her chocolate peanut butter pretzel cake balls.

Judges were Friends of the Library Past President Josephine DeGennaro, Secaucus Municipal Court Judge Karen R. Boylan, Superior Court Judge John A. Young Jr., and Library Board Secretary Dr. Robert Berckes. Friends’ President Zinnia Miller thanked the judges for their time and applauded all those who participated in the baking contest.

Fair share winners

At the mini-fair’s conclusion, Miller picked the winning tickets for the Fair Share Raffle. Winners were Joe Mancini, first prize, $1031.75; Gloria Capone, second prize, $619.05, and Mary Ann Flores, third prize, $412.70.

“The mini-fair/used book sale was a huge success, which would not have been possible without so many spirited residents that volunteered their time and efforts,” Miller said.

Joseph Passantino may be reached at

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