OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla., Sept. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Oklahoma City based nonprofit Water4 today announced its Second Annual Pioneering Spirit Gala, to be held on Thursday, September 26th at the historic Skirvin Hotel. Special guests for the evening, including Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb, Congressman James Lankford and News9 anchor Robin Marsh will celebrate the past and future pioneering spirit of Oklahoma in an effort to eradicate the world's lack of clean water one community at a time. Former U.S. Senator Don Nickles and his wife Linda will Chair the event, and the Presenting Sponsor is Chesapeake Energy.
Water4's Oklahoma roots run deep and "Rooted" is, in fact, the theme of this year's celebration. In 1901 Co-Founder Terri Greenly's great grandmother won a dry plot of land in the lottery, which led the family to fully comprehend the importance of water issues and how their water pumping business could help address the world water crisis. Now over 100 years later, Oklahomans are coming together in support of the effort to end the world water crisis. Oklahoma is blessed with clean water today, but every 22 seconds around the world a child dies from preventable water-related disease.
The Oklahoma hometown support will be planted even deeper for 24 hours beginning October 26th when amateur athlete Joel McCarty lends his deep support to Water4 and its efforts. Mr. McCarty will raise money and awareness for the cause by participating in a 24-hour road race called 24 The Hard Way in which he will run around a track for 24 consecutive hours, raising money with every hour he completes. The goal is to raise $1,000 per hour for a total of $24,000, which in turn means 24 wells that will provide 2,400 people with access to safe drinking water.
"Terri and I are thrilled with the success of all of our team's efforts over the past year," says Water4 Co-Founder Dick Greenly. "We have been hard at work getting tools into the hands of the local populations in the developing world to empower them to solve their own water problems. We are well on our way to solving this crisis and we are grateful for all of the support we receive from our friends like Joel and countless others in Oklahoma; their help is so crucial and we appreciate it."
Governor Mary Fallin voices her support and says, "It is inspiring to see the impact that Oklahomans have had on so many throughout the world, and in such a short time. The Water4 team is doing great work, providing clean drinking water to thousands of families and individuals. My thanks go out to them for their tremendous efforts."
VIP gala attendees will be treated to a special screening of the award-winning documentary This Is Normal by the Screening Sponsor, SandRidge Energy. The film tells the story of a businessman who works hard to find success, a mother in Zambia who walks hours each day to collect contaminated water for her children and a young African man who struggles to provide for his family. For each of them, this is normal but their lives change and their stories collide when a water well is dug in rural Africa.
Earlier this year Grammy Award-winning singer Sandi Patty traveled to Sierra Leone with Water4. Of her experience she says, "The need for access to clean water across the world is urgent and after seeing it first hand, I know that the solution is actually quite simple and it lies within our reach. Water4's method allows people to solve this crisis in a new way and I am honored to support and raise awareness for this vitally important cause and for this incredible group."
The gala will feature a silent and live auction that will include a guitar signed by singing and songwriting sensation Taylor Swift, an overnight stay at the acclaimed historic Skirvin Hotel with tickets to an Oklahoma Thunder home game and tickets to a Lumineers concert, among many other enticing treasures and adventures. All proceeds from the evening will support Water4's efforts to provide clean water throughout the world.
Water4, a 501(c)3 public charity based out of Oklahoma City, was founded in 2008 with the mission to not only provide water to at-risk, impoverished areas but also to teach and provide employment opportunities through their inexpensive pumps and drilling methods. While numerous organizations are helping to solve the global water crisis, no other organization approaches or executes the process of providing water quite like Water4 does. It gets nationals involved in the future of their home village's water issues. As a result of their new vocation they are engaged daily in fixing the water problems as well as helping their village and themselves find new ways to prosper.
For more information please visit www.water4.org.
For more information about 24 The Hard Way please visit http://www.water4.org/#/donate/24-the-hard-way.