Authors At Their Best At WE CAN Annual Benefit

By: Amy Tagliaferri

Topics: Benefits , Harwich , Social services

John Searles, Anne LeClaire, Dr. Susan McGee Bailey, Jane Green and Anita Diamant at LeClaire's Chatham home for dinner the night before the W3 event. KIM RODERIQUES PHOTO

HARWICH PORT – “Authors love coming to this event because you treat them like rock stars!” Anne LeClaire, an author herself, declared at last week's 12th annual Day of Words, Wit and Wisdom benefit for WE CAN.

The inside crowd cheered, and the “people of the tent” in the outside overflow area were heard cheering also. Nearly 500 women and a healthy smattering of men attended last Thursday's event, known as “W3.” The event is WE CAN’s major fundraiser and tickets are hard to come by. Tickets went on sale Tuesday, April 26 and sold out quickly as they do every year.

Chatham resident LeClaire, also a bestselling author (“Listening Below the Noise” and “The Lavender Hour”), guided the program that spotlights three notable authors, WE CAN’s Woman of the Year and a segment called the Voices of WE CAN featuring three women who have been aided by the not-for-profit organization.

It’s truly a daylong event. Registration is at 8:15 a.m., the authors each speak at 9:15 followed by a break to mingle, purchase raffle tickets and buy books (thank you, Yellow Umbrella Books). The authors are available to sign books at that time and chat with attendees one-on-one.

Authors Anita Diamant (“The Red Tent” and “The Boston Girl”), Jane Green (“Jemina J” and “Tempting Fate”), John Searles (“Help for the Haunted” and “Strange But True”) signed books for each individual who approached them. At 11 a.m. or so the crowd reconvened to hear from WE CAN Executive Director Andi Gesner about why the organization exists. She introduced three women (Nicola Burnell, Melissa Wynn and June Cruz) who bravely told their stories. WE CAN stands for Women’s Empowerment through Cape Area Networking, and the group has helped thousands of women in transition through a wide range of services and programs offered.

Then the authors returned for an hour-long question and answer session that enlightened and amused everyone. This year’s Woman of the Year, Dr. Susan McGee Bailey, spoke impressively and left no doubt in the crowd’s mind why she deserved the award. The event concluded with a delicious luncheon in the room downstairs overlooking one of the Cape’s most beautiful harbors.

Diamant, Green and Searles were extremely entertaining (the laughter was loud and came often) and informative. LeClaire was a hoot, the organization’s mission was poignantly demonstrated by the young women and the Wychmere Harbor Club’s luncheon was a social buzz as everyone caught up.