With the exception of his idol Mark Twain, Ron Powers is perhaps the most accomplished author from Hannibal.  This week, the Pulitzer Prize winning writer comes back to our area to help raise money for the Transitions Foundation in Quincy.

Proceeds from  “An evening with Pulitzer Prize Winning Author, Ron Powers” will support Transitions' mission of providing help to people who need mental health services.  It's a good fit for Powers, whose life was deeply affected by mental illness when his son Kevin was diagnosed with schizophrenia.  The torment eventually led to Kevin's suicide in 2005.  Power's eldest son also battles schizophrenia.

Ron Powers wrote a book on his family's battles with mental health issues.  The title, "No One Cares About Crazy People:  The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America" was enough to draw my eye and lead me to check out the book at the library.  It's a raw, personal narrative of the Powers family, and it's a real indictment on the state of mental health care, the stereotypes and derision involved in mental illness.

One in four people suffer from some form of mental illness.  Transitions of Western Illinois serves about 9000 people in our area by offering mental health, education and rehabilitation programs.  

The fundraiser is set for Friday, April 26th at the Oakley Lindsay Center in Quincy.Tickets for “An Evening with Pulitzer Prize Winning Author, Ron Powers” are available through the Quincy Community Theatre Box Office (217-222-3209) or www.1qct.org (click Upcoming Events). A limited number of tickets for a “Meet and Greet” with Powers are available. Tickets for the “Meet and Greet”, that will take place from 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM, are $75 per person and will include a social hour with hors d’oeuvres, a complimentary copy of Flags of Our Fathers, an opportunity to meet the author and book signing, and preferred seating for Mr. Powers’ talk. Tickets for his talk only are $25 for preferred seating and $15 for general admission. There will be copies of several of his books available for purchase at the event.   

A native of Hannibal, Missouri, Ron Powers is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, an Emmy-winning TV commentator, a novelist, and a non-fiction writer. He is the co-author of Flags of Our Fathers and True Compass - both #1 New York Times Hardcover Nonfiction bestsellers. His biography of Mark Twain – Mark Twain: A Life – was also a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the 2005 National Book Critics Circle Award. He received the Pulitzer Prize for his critical writing about television for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1972. In 1985, he was presented an Emmy Award for his commentaries on CBS News Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt.