Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tickets on sale now for Three Cups of Tea author Greg Mortenson

Above: Greg Mortenson in Seattle on December 15, 2009. Mortenson, author of "Three Cups of Tea," has a new book out, entitled "Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs,in Afghanistan and Pakistan."

by Janine Gates

Humanitarian, Nobel Peace Prize nominee and "Three Cups of Tea" author Greg Mortenson is coming to Olympia on May 13 and tickets are currently on sale for an evening event with Mortenson. Go to for a link to buy tickets online.

The evening talk, which starts at 6:45 p.m., will be held in the Marcus Pavilion at St. Martin's University in Lacey. Tickets are $10 for students presenting valid identification at the door, and $25 for the general public. Tickets are expected to sell quickly - a total of 3,500 tickets will be available. After expenses, the ticket proceeds will go towards Mortenson's educational program for children, Pennies for Peace.

The Olympia High School junior Rotary group, Interact, is $9,000 away from raising the full $25,000 needed to bring Mortenson, but group members are confident they can raise the remaining funds by the April 13 deadline. The honorarium money goes toward Mortenson's organization, Central Asia Institute, which builds schools, primarily for girls, in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Mortenson's visit to Olympia will be filled with events, including a morning assembly at Olympia High School, a Rotary luncheon, an after-school hours rally at the Capitol steps, and an evening talk at St. Martin's, says Matt Grant, principal at Olympia High School.

Details for the day are still being worked out. Grant says the rally will involve the concept that education is a human right. "Everyone is entitled to an education," said Grant. Students are scheduled to meet at 3:00 p.m. at Stevens Field near Lincoln Elementary School, and march to the Capitol steps for the 4:00 p.m. rally.

"The afternoon appearance on the Capitol steps will likely be after school lets out," says Peter Rex, Olympia School District communications director. 'This eliminates the logistics of permission slips, cost of hiring school buses, getting back to school on time, etc. However, we hope that through our outreach to the schools and planning efforts (I'm imagining preferred seating/standing areas for students) to encourage as much participation as possible for our students at this event.'"

" also provides an opportunity for members of the public to see Mr. Mortenson for free, which is something that I have not noticed in his previous appearances in other communities," added Rex.

Donations are being accepted by The Community Foundation for Mortenson's honorarium. To make a donation, checks can be made out to: "The Community Foundation," and mailed to: The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound, 111 Market St. NE, Suite 375, Olympia, WA 89501. Be sure to write "Greg Mortenson Project" in the memo section of your check. Donations are tax-deductible.

For more information about the event, contact The Community Foundation at(360) 705-3340.

For more information about Pennies for Peace, go to

For more information about Mortenson's visit to Olympia, please see past articles in this blog at

Above: Mortenson signs books for children in Seattle on December 15, 2009. At this event, Mortenson allowed all the children who wanted to meet and chat with him and get their books signed to go to the head of the line. He took his time and met with every single one before meeting adults.