The Bow Ties & Bean Boots party helps Teens to Trails support more high school outing clubs.

“We help support high schools in Maine to start outing clubs,” said Rebecca Thomas, outreach and programs coordinator for Teens to Trails, a nonprofit based in Brunswick, at its third annual Bow Ties & Bean Boots fundraiser held at The Portland Company on Aug. 26.

“Our goal is to have an outing club in every high school in the state that is active and sustainable.”

Over 200 guests gathered on a sweltering summer night to show support for the idea that teens need to spend more time outdoors and for outing clubs to provide that kind of healthy and formative experience.

“We’re celebrating our 10th year,” said Carol Leone, who co-founded Teens to Trails with her husband, Bob, after a family tragedy.

“We lost our daughter, Sara, when she was at Wiscasset High School. Getting outside was a lot of the neat person that she was and the best times we had together as a family. We moved to Maine because we wanted to settle someplace where our kids would want to grow up. It was a surprise to me to realize that kids weren’t getting outside anymore.”

With the warehouse doors of The Portland Company thrown open, partygoers mingled near food trucks, perused the extensive silent auction items and queued up for beers cooling in canoes full of ice. Live music included sets by Whiskey Grimace and Dominic & The Lucid.

Christian LaMontagne, president of the Cheverus Outing Club, enjoyed the evening with his folks, Lynn and Peter of Long Island. Dave Butler, a board member and Maine guide, was joined by Cindy Watson and Bob Gross.

Hailey Hewitt, an old friend of Sara Leone, attended with her family, including parents Abby and Mike Hewitt and sister Chelsea of Fairfax, Virginia. “They introduced us to the beauty of Maine,” said Mike Hewitt, whose family has known the Leones since 1997. “We’ve been associated with it since they started, but this is the first time we could come to the event. It’s really special to us.”

“These are the best people in the world,” said Shawn Carlson of Boothbay, who was a founding board member. “I have never seen two people take a tragedy and make it into a beautiful thing. They are gracious and they’ve made a difference both on the midcoast and all over the state.”

Margaret Logan is a freelance writer who lives in Scarborough. She can be reached at:

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