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

Scherer said he hopes to raise $10,000 by June 2022 in book sales and get 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 keep raising money for children living 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 children's cancer through the sales of children's books based on stories told to his grandsons, Blake and Logan.

Robin Baird Lewis, the book's illustrator, mentions several eyes looked over the book's artwork before publication, and is satisfied with the results. 

“We’re really excited about this book, it’s really looking good,” said Scherer, “I’ve got a lot of interest in this book already.”

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

"I think they're going to have a lot of fun with that," said Scherer about those who read the story.

Helping Scherer with sales and promotion of his books is the Ontario Parents Advocating for Children's Cancer (OPAC). The Upper Grand District School Board has also reached out to Scherer about filming a promotional video about the books, which will be shown at assemblies held by different schools within its district. 

On top of this, Scherer and Baird Lewis will also be participating in two book signing events at Stone Road Mall. The first event is Saturday, Oct. 23 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the second event is Sunday, Oct. 24 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

"We're really excited," he said about the event, "Lots of people love the books."

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

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

The campaign has raised almost $4,000 in book sales, which has been put toward various charities across the province, including locally to the Guelph Wish Fund. With a previous fundraising goal of $9,000, Scherer now believes the campaign can reach $10,000 by June 2022.

“The sales are doing well and we’re able to say that we are now supporting charities, and once the Sugar Shack Mystery is out, we’re hoping that things are going to 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 up to organizations to sell and use the profits to support their fundraiser for cancer, but some organizations have been hesitant to do so. He hopes word of mouth can help fix that.

“Everyday, I’m on this phone, working harder and harder, looking for venues and finding other avenues," he said. "My goal with this is to get a major publishing deal, and I’m working on that.”

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

"If I can get that, then I can do a lot more."