The Boston area is having a rough go of it this winter. With an accumulation of over six feet of snow from the constant pounding of almost weekly snowstorms, its residents haven’t had a lot to smile about — until a ray of sunshine broke through in Harvard Square on January 29. That’s when Amy Poehler, the star of “Parks and Recreation” and former SNL alumna, arrived in Cambridge to receive the 2015 Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year award.
Every year, Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals bestows the Man of the Year and Woman of the Year awards on performers who “have made lasting and impressive contributions to the world of entertainment.” As this year’s recipient, the comedienne participated in the traditional Woman of the Year parade, riding in a convertible Bentley down Massachusetts Avenue, passing The Harvard COOP bookstore, a sponsor of the event.
Despite the cold, throngs of fans lined the streets, some holding signs, for a chance to see the comedienne. Many of those fans also wanted the opportunity to own a signed copy of Poehler’s first book, Yes Please, which was released in 2014 and debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times Best Sellers list.
Although Poehler did not hold any formal book signings for the release of her book, The Harvard COOP convinced her to sign copies before the Hasty Pudding event. “The COOP has been a long-time sponsor of the Hasty Pudding event,” said Nancie Scheirer, Tradebook Manager for The COOP. “When we heard that she was named this year’s Woman of the Year, we knew that we wanted to promote her new book and offer signed copies in our store. She didn’t have time for a formal book signing, so she graciously agreed to sign about 130 books for us.”
The bookstore, also known as The COOP, promoted the signed copies through emails to the Harvard student body as well as in-store announcements throughout the day. “We had really great engagement from the students,” said Scheirer. “Every time we announced we had signed copies at the front the desk – and what a great Valentine’s Day present the book would make – we’d have a rush of customers come to check out to buy a copy.”
The bookstore also collaborated with the Hasty Pudding Theatricals to create a custom t-shirt to mark the event, which was offered in the store along with Poehler’s book. That t-shirt was also presented to Poehler. “This is always a really fun event for the Harvard community,” said Scheirer. “And we’re really happy the bookstore could be a part of it.”