Guidan Illa villager draws water by hand from existing well.
The results are in from the Tacoma Narrows Rotary annual “Spring for the Kids” auction, held May 6 at the greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center. With some 300 guests present at the black tie (optional) affair, the club netted nearly $40,000 for its community and international service projects. This successful event was chaired by Patrick Johnson.
The first of these projects is to provide a new well for a village of 1500 people in one of the hottest, driest, poorest parts of the world. The villagers of Guidan Illa, Niger (see map inset), have relied for 30 years on a single well which has become contaminated over time, and goes dry during the long hot summers, sometimes 120 degrees. The village is located in the southwest part of the landlocked nation, most of which lies in the Sahara Desert. Water is drawn from the well by hand.
Auction proceeds will fund the purchase of cement, rebar and other materials for the well, which will be dug by the villagers in time for this summer’s use. The project, organized through the Peace Corps, will make it possible for the villagers to diversify their crops, increase the number and type of livestock, and improve health through elimination of the contamination by installing a concrete apron around the well. Clean water is Rotary International’s #1 priority in international project, and is a critical objective supported by the United Nations.
Remaining proceeds from the auction will fund the installation of electronic score boards at the new University Place Cirque Park ball fields, scholarships for second year TCC students, and Curtis High School graduates. In addition, funds will support the club’s international student exchange program, community giving, Courage Classic bicycle race supporting child abuse intervention programs, and Paint Tacoma/Pierce County Beautiful. The club has also partnered with the cities of Fircrest and University Place to obtain Starbucks Parks Grant funding to renovate playground equipment and install new tot lot equipment.
Tacoma Narrows Rotary meets Tuesday mornings at 7 a.m. at Fircrest Golf Club. More about Tacoma Narrows Rotary can be found at the club’s web site, www.tacomanarrowsrotary.org.
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