Sharon Wheeler and Tom Carr are hosting a Hillsborough Kiwanis raffle fundraiser that will give the top winner a night of browsing in Purple Crow Books.


Dropping $5 on a raffle ticket might give you the chance to spend the night with a friend or family member at Purple Crow Books. 

This night at the bookstore — which includes a $100 book gift certificate and breakfast for two at Cup A Joe — is the main prize in a Hillsborough Kiwanis fundraiser for Orange County students in need of eyeglasses and eye doctor appointments.

“The Kiwanis Club recently became aware of many students who are in need of financial support to acquire eye glasses and to pay for appointments with an eye doctor,” Hillsborough Kiwanis President Tom Carr, a former Orange County Schools counselor for over thirty years, said. “Besides helping students with vision issues I hope this encourages people to visit Purple Crow Books. I am a voracious reader and I am a great supporter of independent bookstores.”

The Hillsborough Kiwanis Club has a history of involvement with schools in Orange County, including scholarship programs, recognizing students through the Terrific Kid program and more.

In the past, Orange County students have received help with vision healthcare from the Hillsborough Lions Club. Since the town’s Lions Club is no longer in existence, the Kiwanis have stepped in to provide for that need. 

Kiwanis member and former school nurse Margaret Anne Dow will be assisting the schools in distributing the money raised for vision issues.

In addition to providing for a need among local students, the fundraiser spotlights two local businesses, Cup A Joe and Purple Crow Books. 

This is the first time that the bookstore will be open for a sleepover. Organizers are recommending that the prize-winners bring a sleeping bag or comfortable chair for their night of browsing, and will be alerting authorities that guests will be staying at the shop.

“It’s always been a fantasy for me — to spend a night at the bookstore or library with no one else there to bother me, no one looking over my shoulder,” Carr said.

He said that Sharon Wheeler, the owner of Purple Crow Books, has been supportive of the unique fundraiser from the start, allowing her store to become an all-nighter location for the winner.

“Tom Carr has boundless energy for helping children, and boundless creativity,” Wheeler said. “The store is right downtown and I know it’ll feel very safe for our guest — it’ll be wonderful.”

Tickets for the “A Night at the Bookstore” fundraiser can be purchased through May 31 at Purple Crow or from a Kiwanis member. A number of other prizes are available as well.