Penny Wars for Peace to Honor September 11 at Mount Union

May 24, 2010

The Office of Service-Learning and Community Service at Mount Union College will be holding “Penny Wars for Peace” on Friday, September 11 from 10:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Campus Grounds located within the Hoover-Price Campus Center.
“Penny Wars for Peace” is a fundraising event that will be held in remembrance of September 11, 2001. Various student organizations from Mount Union will have containers labeled with their group’s name and any individual willing to participate can place monetary donations in their container. Each piece of money will have a point value – pennies, 1 point; nickels, 5 points; dimes, 10 points; quarters, 25 points; $1, 100 points; $5, 500 points and so on.

The catch is that pennies and paper money add positive points to an organization’s score and silver coins add negative points. The objective is for individuals to flood containers with positive money and to flood other competitor’s containers with negative money. 

“All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Central Asia Institute,” said Amanda Espenschied-Reilly, director of service learning and community service at Mount Union. This institute was co-founded by Greg Mortenson, co-author of Three Cups of Tea. “The Institute ties back to September 11 because it was founded on the belief that the best way to fight terrorism and promote peace is through education – especially through educating girls – in rural Pakistan and Afghanistan.”

Three Cups of Tea by Mortenson and David Oliver Relin was this year’s LS 100 reading assignment. LS 100 is a class designed to help new students adjust to college life and learn critical reading and discussion skills.

A critically acclaimed best-seller, Three Cups of Tea begins with Mortenson's failed attempt to summit K2, the second highest peak in the world. As Mortenson recovered in a small village in Pakistan he came to realize that there was no school for the children of the village. Mortenson promised that he would return and build a school for the village and fulfilling that promise changed Mortenson's life. Mortenson has now built dozens of such schools and has had a profound impact on that part of the world. Themes within this book include making a difference, persisting in the face of difficulty and failure, promoting peace through education and helping others with humility.

A short memorial to honor September 11, 2001 will be held at 10:45 a.m. and the actual penny war will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

At the end of the event, counters will go through each container and add up the points each group collected. The winning group will receive an ice cream party donated by the Office of Service-Learning and Community Service.

This event is open to the public. For more information, contact Amanda Espenschied-Reilly, director of service-learning and community service at (330) 829-8168 or

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