On a day when many didn’t have power or plumbing locally, people still participated in the 11th annual Walk for Water, a benefit event where participants walk nearly four miles with a two-gallon bucket. The trek represents the journey millions of adults and children make one or more times a day to access water.
Participants paid $10, or more if they chose, to walk the course, which started at Grace Episcopal Church on S. Main Street in Kilmarnock, went to the boat ramp at the end of Waverly Avenue and returned to the church.
Eighty-two-year-old Mike Donelan was the second to start and first to complete the trek. It took him about 50 minutes. He was followed by Ben, 7, and Kate Holston, 10, who came from Lexington to walk with their grandfather Dana Burnett of Urbanna. Ben and Kate each donated $15, which they earned themselves.
“We came to represent what other people do in other countries. They have to go down the road for miles to get water and bring it back to their families,” said Ben.
“Yeah, we’re pretty soft. We’re dependent upon things like electricity and potable water. It’s a good lesson, for them and for me,” Burnett said. “We’re privileged. And we may not be rich but to other countries we are. So, we need to give back.”
Proceeds from the event go to Water Mission, a nonprofit engineering organization that designs and sends water purification systems to undeveloped areas around the world. Glenn Cockrell hosts the walk every year on the second Saturday in October, and his effort is currently focused on buying systems for Tanzania.
Through his work, Cockrell connected with Egette Indelele, a native of Tanzania, who studies at George Mason University. She attended last year’s walk and spoke at two of Grace Episcopal services. This year, she returned from Fairfax with five friends.
They are all members of the African Student Association and they are planning a Walk for Water event on campus in April. “Some of us have been affected by lack of clean water so we thought it would be important to showcase it,” said Oumou Ly, who is from Senegal.
“That’s the thing about how this grows,” says Cockrell. He said other churches and organizations have helped him grow and expand his effort, he’ll help others and so on.
For the full article pick up a copy of this weeks Northern Neck News 10/17/18