The hills of Swannanoa were alive on Tuesday, June 28, at the 40th anniversary of The Program for Writers as the results of the 40 day Friends of Writers match campaign were announced. The gala, held in the Pavilion on campus, hosted alumni at the conclusion of the Alumni Conference, current students beginning the July residency, faculty, and Wallies from all over who just came for a good time.
And it was a good time–in her remarks, Ellen spoke about the sense of renewal represented by several generations of students and faculty present. The match–Friends of Writers offered $25,000 to be matched in 40 days–was incredibly successful, raising a total of $37,823 in addition to the $25,000 offered by the Friends of Writers board for a total of $62,823. On top of that, the silent auction, including donations from the Alumni Conference and faculty, raised over $12,000 for a total of nearly $75,000.
That total means that Friends of Writers is very close to being able to offer the first award of the Ellen Bryant Voigt scholarship in January 2018. (The fund needs $100,00 to begin making awards.)
Whether you attended in person or donated from afar, you made an enormous difference to the Program, to Ellen, and to future writers. All of us on the FOW board are deeply grateful to this community for its generosity and support.