Pete Savard SUP on the Susquehanna

What's SUP? Paddling for Clean Water

by Hannah Fair, Student Public Relations Writer

Pete Savard, assistant professor of nursing, used stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) to raise awareness and financial support this summer for clean water projects overseas through his Global Water Consortium (GWC). Now, he has the the opportunity to speak about the experience and its purpose at the Wright State University (WSU) Adventure Summit Speaker Series.

Savard will be one of four featured speakers during the summit, held in the WSU Student Union on February 12 at 7 p.m. He will share about paddling down the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania for 30 straight days during summer 2018 as a fundraiser — called SUP4WATER — for GWC. The event is free and no pre-registration is required to attend.

The Adventure Summit celebrates the spirit of outdoor adventure. It is the area’s premier outdoor adventure exposition and will focus attention on Dayton as the Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Midwest. The Summit is open to outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and interest levels.

Savard founded GWC in 2014 to start mobile, self-sustaining clean water projects around the world. Each one of GWC’s projects can provide 26,316 gallons of clean water in a single day, enough water for 33,333 people to drink.

— Pete Savard

"In India and Kenya, 126,540 children died due to unclean water during those 30 days we paddled. We want to raise at least one dollar for every one of those children,” explained Savard.

Savard and his team rode 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 easily transported to remote locations and raise awareness and support for GWC’s work.

The Susquehanna SUP team included Savard; Savard's daughter, Ainsley; Cassie Rakowski, Cedarville nursing student; Lindsey Wiseman and Jared Mitchell, friends of Savard; Tristan Devlin, a film student at Wright State University, who photographed and took video of the team from a canoe; Emily DeClerico, a 2018 Cedarville nursing alumna; and J.T. Tomlin, another 2018 alumnus who drove the support truck all month.

“The SUP4WATER trip was a great opportunity to use purposeful adventure to raise awareness to the global issue of unclean water,” said Rakowski. “If I hadn’t gone to the Mission Mondays talk that Pete held at Cedarville, I never would have had the opportunity to say ‘yes’ to all of the adventure, hardships and growth that the trip had to offer. The Lord is already using the GWC in great ways and I can’t wait to see what he does with it.”

“I needed people who were willing to work together and raise awareness to alleviate suffering, and this is what this team reflected,” said Savard. “We were a team of average people, not Olympians or surfers. You can have an adventure, have fun and help people.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,193 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.