by Michaela Carpenter, Public Relations Writer
For many people, summer means fun in the sun and on the water. For Cedarville University nursing professor Pete Savard, this summer will be just that — floating down the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania for 30 straight days to raise awareness and financial support for clean water projects through his Global Water Consortium (GWC).
Savard will be joined by his 15-year-old daughter, Ainsley, and their support team on this 444-mile journey. The Savards have a passion for bringing clean water to India, and they have already visited locations in India and Kenya where they hope to bring clean water through GWC.
Savard will also host a fundraising event Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 6 p.m. at Wagner Subaru, 5470 Intrastate Drive, in Fairborn, Ohio.
Savard founded GWC in 2014 to start mobile, self-sustaining clean water projects around the world. The organization is currently sponsored by 18 companies, including Wagner Subaru, Skratch Labs, SUPonthefly and Viqua.
In the summer of 2017, Savard traveled to Kadali, India, with a team of Cedarville professors and students to begin the nonprofit organization’s first clean water initiative. The team installed a simple water filtration system at a children’s home, providing the ministry with clean water and the opportunity to sell water locally.
“In the six months since the project in India has been going, none of the children have had typhoid, none of the staff have had typhoid and none of them have had belly cramps or vomiting or diarrhea,” said Savard. “That’s never happened before in their lifetimes.”
GWC has connected with ministries in several other countries where it could establish similar clean water initiatives, including Kenya, Nepal and Nicaragua. While the organization has many opportunities to continue its work, Savard says it is limited due to lack of funds. That’s where the new fundraising initiative, #SUP4Water, comes in.
Savard and the rest of his team will ride stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) on the Susquehanna, carrying the same water equipment that GWC uses for clean water projects in developing countries. Their goal: demonstrate that this equipment can be transported to remote locations and to raise both awareness and support for the work of GWC.
“People like to canoe and kayak and ride bikes and SUP,” said Savard. “I think it’s cool that we can use what we do for fun to save lives.”
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,963 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.