strout and shetterly

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout (left) and Caitlin Shetterly are seen on Aug. 9 at Stone Mountain Arts Center for the annual fundraiser for Camp Susan Curtis. (COURTESY PHOTO)

BROWNFIELD, Maine — A sellout crowd of over 150 gathered at Stone Mountain Arts Center in Brownfield, Maine, on Aug. 9 for dinner and a reading by Maine author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout to support youth development at Camp Susan Curtis, a program of the Susan L. Curtis Foundation. 

Located in Stoneham, Maine, Camp Susan Curtis offers economically disadvantaged Maine youth a safe, supportive environment in which to discover their interests and abilities and develop important life skills. 

This was the third annual "Evening with Maine Authors," and the event raised over $25,000 from ticket sales, sponsorships, donations, silent auction and book sales.

Strout read an excerpt from her soon-to-be-published novel "Olive, Again," a sequel to "Olive Kitteridge," which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2009.

Fellow Maine author Caitlin Shetterly introduced Strout and led a question-and-answer session after the reading.

Shetterly also related her experience leading a writing workshop for older children at Camp Susan Curtis.

Another speaker was Camp Susan Curtis alumna Elyse Corbett of Freeport, Maine, who spoke movingly of how the connections she made at camp and the growth in confidence, self-esteem and sense of belonging she experienced as a camper and counselor-in-training helped her overcome adversity and go on to pursue her academic goals. Today, she is a licensed psychologist with her own private practice and a trustee of the Susan L. Curtis Foundation.

The evening was made possible in part by presenting sponsor Great Northern Docks, Naples, Maine; and sponsors Consolidated Communications; Dead River Co., South Portland, Maine; John Cole Architect, Fryeburg, Maine; Grandy Oats, Hiram, Maine; and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Bridgton, Maine.

Since 1974, Camp Susan Curtis, a program of the Susan L. Curtis Foundation, has been teaching critical life skills and character development to economically disadvantaged Maine youth from grades 3-12, removing barriers and helping them to know and realize their full potential. Campers must be referred by their school counselors and demonstrate financial need by qualifying for free or reduced lunch through the USDA school lunch program. 

The camp experience is fully sponsored by donations from corporations, foundations and individuals. Administrative offices are located in Portland. 

For more information, go to susancurtis.org.

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