A new fundraiser being planned by the Rotary Club of Quesnel will support water-focused organizations that are making a difference locally and internationally.
Water and sanitation is one of the six areas of focus for Rotary, to ensure people have sustainable access to clean water and sanitation, and with this in mind, the Rotary Club of Quesnel is hosting its first annual Walk for Water Friday, Feb. 21 to raise money and awareness for two organizations who share that focus.
Locally, Baker Creek Enhancement Society promotes awareness, stewardship and restoration of our local environment, in particular our lakes, rivers and streams. Internationally, the Roll-A-Hippo Foundation facilitates easier access to potable water by way of the Hippo Water Roller.
The Hippo Water Roller allows women and children to haul water to their households by way of a large “wheel” that they can roll, instead of carrying heavy buckets on their heads. According to the Roll-A-Hippo Foundation, one hippo roller carries enough water to meet the basic needs of seven people per day.
“It was three or four years ago that we learned of a project that was being put together by the Rotary Club of Gibsons to do with these hippo rollers, which make it easier to transport water, and there was a desire to do a water-related fundraising event,” said Simon Turner, the 2019 club president.
The club decided to organize a fundraising walk and split the proceeds between the Roll-A-Hippo Foundation and the Baker Creek Enhancement Society.
“It seemed logical to us that we would split the proceeds between something local and something international,” said Turner.
While the basic premise of the Walk for Water will be to walk laps of the soccer field, the Rotary Club is planning fun and games for the entertainment and education of the participants, with lots of prizes to ensure everyone who participates takes home a memento for helping Rotary address the important issues of water and sanitation.
There will be a bit of a warm up at 6 p.m., and then people can walk laps of the walking track.
So far, 4-H, the Baden-Powell Service Association, the Correlieu Secondary School Interact Club (which is a junior Rotary club) and Special Olympics are all participating, and the Rotary Club will donate up to $250 to each of those groups against the first $250 they raise for the Walk for Water. Individuals and business teams, such as Robert’s Roost, have also already committed to participating in the walk.
Turner says they are so far expecting about 70 people, and he wouldn’t be too surprised if they saw 100 people turn up.
“We would be really happy with that,” he said. “I think it’s the idea that it’s something new and the cause is something that is near to people’s hearts, it’s the winter so we’re going to be walking inside — there are a whole number of things that seem to have appealed to people. It’s great. It’s been quite rewarding. The newer members, they have been in the club less than a year, they came up with the idea of doing this event, and to have local groups respond in that way … it’s been really cool.”
McDonald’s came through with a sponsorship, which covered the facility rental fee, and Turner says every dollar that gets raised on the night will be split between the two organizations.
The Walk for Water takes place Friday, Feb. 21 from 6-9 p.m. at the Quesnel Youth Soccer Association indoor walking track at 980 Anderson Dr.
For more information or to register, email RotaryClubOfQuesnel@gmail.com, call 250-983-9295 or message the Rotary Club of Quesnel through Facebook. Participants can register the day of the event.