To the Editor:

As chair of the 2017 Young Writers’ Conference, I extend my sincerest gratitude to everyone involved in making this year’s conference a great success. On Saturday, March 18, we held our annual Young Writers’ Conference for children grades third to fifth. In total 294 students enrolled, seven schools represented, 20 presenters teaching 51 workshop sessions, and 61 parent volunteers!

First of all I thank the steering committee for the tireless efforts and dedication: Emily Mills, Robin Brown, Christine LoGiudice, Meghan Carcich, Nicole Genna, Tiffany Lenz, Karen Pray, Kari Lombardo, Angela Reiner, Rebecca Kaufman, Nicole Kynast, Dawn Bell, Carole McLemore, Rich Hanel, Michael Raduazzo, Kim Carone, and Tanya Valine. Together we thank the Boy Scouts from Troop 431, Anthony Raduazzo, Patrik Backus, Charlie Kalbfus, Nik Badinelli, Ethan Beaulac, and Alex Failla and Troop 116 Scouts Ethan Mills and Fisher Mills. At East Ridge Middle School, we thank Cecilia Rosevalt, Michael Kilcran, Lauren Rushka, and Patricia Ranieri for the use of the facility and outstanding support and preparation. At the school district level we thank Karen Baldwin, the principals of the town’s six elementary schools, and Anna O’Rourke, principal of St. Mary School for their full support of this outstanding program. We thank Heather Reed for her assistance in creating our wonderful videos. We give thanks to the vendors of The Marketplace at Copps Hill for their generous donations to the presenters’ gift baskets. We thank Books on the Common for underwriting a portion of the gift certificates as well as Ed Backus of Alphagraphics for meeting all of our printing needs. We give thanks to the dedicated parents who encouraged their children to participate and volunteered to help things run smoothly. And last, and certainly not least, to the amazing and incredibly talented presenters who continue to give their time and talent and share their love of writing and to the 294 students who enthusiastically came back to school on a Saturday to develop their passion for creative writing! Keep writing — you’re an inspiration to us all!

Maria Raduazzo

2017 Chair, Young Writers’ Conference