‘Things are looking up’ as Guelph author releases second book for children’s cancer fundraiser

Scherer said he hopes to raise $10,000 in book sales by June 2022 and land a major publishing deal

It’s a new story, but the end goal of the book series is the same for a Guelph author Dennis Scherer; to raise money for children with cancer.

The author of The Shadow and The Candle is out with a new book for the Yellow Moon Mouse Children’s Campaign (YMCC), which aims to support families dealing with childhood cancer by selling children’s books based on stories told to his grandsons, Blake and Logan.

Robin Baird Lewis, the book’s illustrator, says different eyes looked at the book’s illustrations before publishing, and is pleased with the results.

“We’re really excited about this book, it looks really good,” Scherer said, “I’m already very interested in this book.”

In his latest book, The Sugar Shack Mystery, brothers Blake and Logan learn how to make maple sugar and meet a maple sugar shack in the woods, where they meet a new character who helps them learn how it’s made.

“I think they’re going to have a lot of fun with that,” Scherer said of those who read the story.

The Ontario Parents Advocating for Children’s Cancer (OPAC) helps Scherer sell and promote his books. The Upper Grand District School Board has also contacted Scherer about filming a promotional video about the books, which will be shown at meetings held by several schools in the district.

In addition, Scherer and Baird Lewis will also participate in two autograph sessions at Stone Road Mall. The first event is on Saturday, October 23 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the second event is on Sunday, October 24 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“We are very excited,” he said of the event, “a lot of people love the books.”

Through the exposure and word of mouth, Scherer hopes to raise more money for the campaign. He mentions that book sales have been good for The Shadow and The Candle, with over 700 copies sold. To see which stores have the book, residents can head to the YMCC Facebook page.

“I have to be in about 200 libraries in Ontario right now,” he said of his first book, “We just got picked up by Newfoundland and North West Territories, and several regions in Alberta now carry my book.”

The campaign has generated nearly $4,000 in book sales, which has been donated to various charities across the county, including locally to the Guelph Wish Fund. With a previous fundraising goal of $9,000, Scherer now believes the campaign could reach $10,000 by June 2022.

“Sales are going well and we can say that we are now supporting charities, and once the Sugar Shack Mystery is out, we hope things will escalate a lot more.”

While Scherer is happy with the current progress the YYMCC is making, he wishes more organizations would pick up the book to use as a fundraiser. With his campaign, Scherer offers the books to organizations to sell and use the profits to support their cancer fundraising campaign, but some organizations are hesitant to do so. He hopes word of mouth can help.

“Every day I sit on this phone, working harder and harder, looking for locations and finding other ways,” he said. “My goal with this is to get a big publishing house, and I’m working on that.”

If it happens, Scherer said the deal could be a big entity for the book, musing on how much more money the campaign could contribute to children with cancer and their families.

“If I can get that, I can do a lot more.”

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