Rotary clubs ‘Walk for Water’ to raise money for wells in Uganda

North Whidbey and Oak Harbor Rotary clubs are bringing a piece of life in Uganda to Oak Harbor Saturday morning.

The two clubs are hosting “Walk for Water” to raise money for Aid Africa and that organization’s effort to build wells that provide local access to clean drinking water in rural Ugandan villages.

Registration opens at 9 a.m. at Neil Park.

From there, participants will carry buckets to the Oak Harbor Fire Station to be filled and returned to the park.

“Usually, women and children have to walk miles with large water cans on their heads,” Carol Wall said, one of the organizers of the fundraiser.

Wall said she and her husband Bob were inspired to bring the event to Oak Harbor after a trip to Uganda. During that trip, she explained, they witnessed the dedication and opening of a new water well.

During the trip, the Walls also met the executive director of Aid Africa, Peter Keller, and learned about the organization’s mission.

Carol Wall said Saturday’s goal is to raise at least the $1,500 needed for one well.

A $25 donation is required for registration and there will be prizes for the individual and team that raise the most money, Wall said.

There will also be an award for the oldest and youngest participants to walk, and the first 100 entrants will get a free T-shirt.

Wall said the community is supportive of the event, with almost 20 businesses and organizations donating or providing assistance.

Former Oak Harbor mayor and Rotary member Scott Dudley will serve as emcee.

Wall said she hopes to make the Walk for Water an annual event.

“It’s a really good project,” she said. “We know they’ll do a good job of building the well.”

Information and pledge forms can be found on Rotary Club of North Whidbey Island Sunrise’s website whidbeyrotary.com

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