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Newly Released Book to Benefit CWU Scholarship Fund

YAKIMA, Wash. (December 3, 2012) — Spencer Hatton spent nearly four decades working as a newspaper columnist, reporter, and editor. His columns in the Yakima Herald-Republic earned numerous state, regional, and national awards. Now, his first book has been published.

Counting Crows: Stories of Love, Laughter and Loss recounts Hatton’s interaction with numerous celebrities—from basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain to England’s Queen Mother, and from actor Al Pacino to blues great B.B. King—with whom he crossed paths during his career. Some of the stories are uproarious; others are deeply personal, including about the loss his wife, Bronwen, and just two years later, the tragic death of his 18-year-old son, Jed. After his wife’s death, he created a scholarship at CWU in her honor.

“I’m extremely happy with how the book came together,” said Hatton. “Sales of the book should generate a nice, steady income for the Bronwen Hatton Scholarship fund.”

The couple raised two children, Andy who had health complications, causing him to spend one month in an incubator, and Jed who, at 2 years old, was diagnosed with autism, a developmental disorder that affects language and social skills.

Bronwen’s advocacy for her autistic son eventually led her to pursue a degree in Special Education at CWU.  A year later, Bronwen was diagnosed with cancer in 1992. Even so, she completed her studies, with straight A grades, in 1993. After she received her degree, she went on to teach before she passed away in 2000.

“I wanted to do something to commemorate my wife’s accomplishments. I felt that creating a scholarship for special education teachers would be a great way to honor Bronwen,” he recalled. “Becoming a special education teacher and helping our son meant so much to Bronwen and our family that creating a scholarship in her name just felt like the right thing to do.” 

Hatton held yard sales, sold ceramic dolls, and developed a donation letter and newsletter to earn money for the scholarship.  He also established the 500 Club, where people commit to donating $100 for five consecutive years to the fund.

The goal is to raise enough money, including through book sales, to award two $1,000 scholarships annually. 

In recognition of his efforts, CWU presented Hatton with the 2005 CWU “Bridge Builder Award,” which honors those who have made an impact on Central’s scholarship program through their leadership, example, and generosity.  

Hatton and his wife, Leslie, live in Yakima. Their son, Andy, lives in Issaquah, and works as a speech language pathologist at the Lakeside Center for Autism

Two book signings for Hatton’s new work have been scheduled for this month in Yakima. The first will be at Inklings Bookshop in the Chalet Mall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 8. The second will be at the tasting room at Kana Winery from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, December 14, which will also include appetizers and entertainment.

“I’ve already completed four book readings and they have been very well received,” Hatton said. “I’ve even read parts of the book to cancer patients at NorthStar Lodge in Yakima. Needless to say, it was an emotional session.”

More information about Counting Crows: Stories of Love, Laughter and Loss is available at 

Media contact: Robert Lowery, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1487,


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