"It was a wonderful educational tool that teachers used so children could learn about children in other areas of the world and also make a difference," said Mariyln Hempstead, who led the local "Pennies for Peace" effort.
But the "60 Minutes" report has raised some serious questions about if the money went where it was supposed to have gone.
"Maybe not as large as we thought but as far as charities go, it's probably a good percentage," said Hempstead, who also is still a strong supporter of Mortenson.
The several-month long investigation by CBS's "60 Minutes" claims the Central Asia Institute has not built all the schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan that it claims to have built.
Also, the report says the CAI has actually spent more money here in the United States than it has overseas, paying for things like Mortenson to fly in private jets to attend speaking engagements.
The "60 Minutes" report also says Mortenson's book, which is the foundation for his humanitarian work, is not truthful.
"I don't think that takes away anything from the 'Pennies for Peace' project," said Hempstead.
Mortenson repeatedly declined "60 Minutes" interview requests. Although, he has since admitted several of his personal experiences were merged together to form the storyline in "Three Cups of Tea."
However, in a statement, Mortenson says the "60 Minutes" story paints a distorted view of his organization.
Click here to read Mortenson's full statement.
Mortenson also defended the CAI's work and the dozens of schools it has built overseas.
There's no doubt that Mortenson has touched countless lives and still has many people standing behind him.