YAKIMA -- The Yakima Town Hall series has brought in some impressive names for its annual lecture series, and the 2012-13 season will be no disappointment.
Kicking off the season on Oct. 3 is former First Lady Laura Bush, followed by West Moore on Nov. 7, David Lampton on March 6, 2013, and Robert Ballard on April 17, 2013.
The Town Hall series has been going strong for 40 years, and it decided to use that for its theme, 40 Years Strong, Keep Us Going, Keep Us Growing, this year, said Debby Douglas, Town Hall media chairwoman.
"Laura Bush is one of the most famous people we have had in recent years," Douglas said. "Five years ago we had Jehan Sadat, the first lady of Egypt, and three years ago we had Salman Rushdie. This year, renowned primatologist Jane Goodall opened our series.
"Last year's season did indeed sell out, although there are always a handful of seats available due to unforeseeable conflicts in our patrons' schedules."
Moore is an author, businessman and Army veteran. His book, The Other Wes Moore, was a New York Times bestseller. It captured the real life story of two kids with the same name, who lived in the same decaying city, Douglas said. One grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated combat veteran, White House fellow and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence in prison for murder.
"Wes Moore explores how the small decisions of children and the adults who care for them can make all the difference in their lives and America's future," Douglas said.
Lampton will talk about his book, The Three Faces of Chinese Power: Might, Money and Minds.
The book delves into how the strengths of China are changing, where its vulnerabilities and uncertainties lie and how the rest of the world should view it.
Ballard is a well-known ocean explorer who discovered the Titanic. His talk will take the audience on an amazing journey under the sea, Douglas said.
"Robert Ballard will take you where you've never gone before," she added.
Season tickets go on sale April 12 and are $85 to attend all four lectures, which are held in Yakima's historic Capitol Theatre. No individual tickets to any of the lectures are sold.
*Dori O'Neal: 582-151; email@example.com