For this holiday season, and to commemorate the release of my new and first children’s book, The Mother Mountain, I am fund-raising for a local Seattle non-profit organization very close to my heart; Climb the Mountain, an afterschool speech and debate program for elementary and middle school students.  As we all know, children and young adults face so many “normal” issues in their lives, let alone those compounded by Covid-19 this year.  Jim Hanson, CTM’s Founder and Executive Director told me that many of the students are feeling isolated, some are scared of speaking and finding their voice; some find schoolwork unchallenging; some are shy and want to make social connections, some want to learn about issues; many want to improve themselves and the world. Students who debate learn how to do research, work with teammates, communicate effectively, organize their ideas and thoughts, differentiate facts from opinions and falsehoods and importantly “address conflict in a peaceful manner using argument and reason rather than fists and violence.”

The Mother Mountain is about two best friends who decide to climb Mount Everest on a childhood dare while in middle-school. After making plans, growing up, going to university, saving, and training, they embark on a two-month expedition to attempt to Climb the Mountain (Mt. Everest!) while also trying to conquer their own deepest fears.  Included are many of the same areas that CTM works with their students on: challenging themselves, goal-setting, collaboration, determination, connections and self-confidence.

Your donation will make Climb the Mountain programs less costly and in particular, provides full and half fee reductions for lower income families; it helps pay for efforts to do outreach to schools to add and grow speech and debate programs.  In the Fall 2020, CTM worked with 220 elementary and middle school students in their afterschool program, helped a high school program in a clinic, ran three college tournaments, supported efforts to begin a greater Seattle urban debate league, and helped Rainier Scholars engage in debate.  We hope you agree with Jim and Climb’s strong belief that finances should not stop a student from engaging in speech and debate, learning, and engaging in communication skills.

And … For every donation to Climb The Mountain, you can be amongst the first to download a free eBook of The Mother Mountain – a unique lyrical story, based on true events, with 36 pages of rhyming fact-based text and 36 beautiful full-color never seen before illustrations of what it is truly like to Climb The (Big) Mountain!  Thank you so much in advance!

Your fellow traveler,


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