The Vinegar Hill Music Theatre opened its doors to hundreds Friday night as the the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy hosted its Celebration of Reading in Maine. RYDER SCHUMACHER/Journal Tribune

The Vinegar Hill Music Theatre opened its doors to hundreds Friday night as the the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy hosted its Celebration of Reading in Maine. RYDER SCHUMACHER/Journal Tribune

ARUNDEL — Celebrities and authors gathered at the Vinegar Hill Music Theatre in Arundel on Friday night for the Celebration of Reading in Maine, hosted by the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.

Doro Bush Koch, sister of former President George W. Bush and daughter of former President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush, attended, along with actress Teri Hatcher, businessman Chris Gardner, author Daniel Silva and veteran and author Sergeant Travis Mills. The purpose of the event was to raise awareness of the need for family literacy in America.

Doro Bush Koch sits down with reporters at the Vinegar Hill Music Theatre to discuss the event. RYDER SCHUMACHER/Journal Triune

Doro Bush Koch sits down with reporters at the Vinegar Hill Music Theatre to discuss the event. RYDER SCHUMACHER/Journal Triune

In an interview, event organizer Koch stated that each of the guests have a unique perspective on literacy in the United States, and that a literate county makes for a safer country.

Gardner concurred.

“I’m absolutely honored to be here,” Gardner said. “Thirty-five million people in our country cannot read, and some whole families cannot read… I had the unfortunate experience of growing up in a family where illiteracy was a problem, and you combine that with alcoholism and other things and it’s problematic.”

Gardner added that he came from South America just to be in Maine for the event.

“It means so much to be here,” he said.

Event organizers said the evening would consist of each of the guests reading passages from their published works, almost in a testimonial format. The event was able to seat hundreds in the Vinegar Hill House’s stage room. Outside a large tent was setup with food and drinks, as well as lights to make for a welcoming atmosphere.

All the proceeds from the tickets for the event go to the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, which “is dedicated to establishing literacy as a value in every home in America. The Foundation funds the development of innovative family literacy projects in which parents and their children learn and read together,” according to the event website.

— Staff Writer Ryder Schumacher can be reached at 282-1535, or via email at [email protected] 

 

 


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