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Town of Runners

I visited Ethiopia in the summer of 2011. What an amazing adventure! I was enamored with the coffee ceremony. I was intrigued by Meskel Square in Addis Ababa, where runners gather to train. And I was blown away by the literacy work of Ethiopia Reads and determined to continue to support their mission.

Last fall in Houston, I was pleased to run into Angela Lara, someone who shared my passion for Ethiopia Reads, even though she has never traveled to see the organization at work. Angela, a Houston area manager for Starbucks, was struck by the idea, that in honor of the birthplace of coffee, she should raise funds to plant a library in the coffee growing village of Yirgacheffe. She began with a book drive, promoted by her stores, and an event that raised nearly $5,000 through donations and a silent auction. I joined her efforts and was able to raise nearly $1,500 in donations connected to my completion of the Washington D.C. Half Marathon in March. Now, with our $10,000 goal within reach, we have created a new event in hopes of completing our pledge to Yirgacheffe.

On August 7 we are hosting the premiere of the documentary movie “Town of Runners” in Houston. The recently released film explores Bekoji, a village in the Ethiopian highlands that has produced a handful of elite international long distance runners. The evening will not only include the film screening, but also a conversation about the Olympic marathons (the women’s Olympic marathon will take place before the screening on August 4, the men’s, after the screening on August 11.) Joining us by Skype will be Adam McDowell, who competed for a spot on the U.S. team at the Olympic trials in Houston last January. Also, Jerry Rothwell, the film’s director, will be joining us by Skype from London.

We are reaching out to Houston coffee drinkers, runners, and members of the Ethiopian community in hopes of filling the 200 seat Sundance Theater. If the theater is full, we will not only meet our fundraising goal for Yirgacheffe, but we will also be able to donate funds for the “planting” of a library in the Bekoji, the Town of Runners. You can help our cause by donating to Ethiopia Reads (designate your gift to the Houston Screening). If you are in the Houston area, or know someone that is, we encourage your attendance. It is a special night with special people for a special cause!

Blog Written by: Jay Stailey

Special screening! Special cause! Special night!

Get your tickets now for the Houston showing of "Town of Runners " a documentary on the little village in  Ethiopia  that sends its runners out into the world to win gold medals and marathons.

Date:  August 7, 2012
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Sundance Theater @ Bayou Place in downtown Houston
Price: 26.2 ($26.20)
Cause: The construction of libraries in Yirgacheffe and Bekoji Ethiopia by Ethiopia Reads!
For tickets:

Can't make it to the screening? You can still help the cause!
Donate here
For more info on "Town of Runners" check out the trailer here:

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Friday, July 20, 2012


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