Walk for Water

Local Rotarians looking to help international fundraiser April 13

Some Rotary Club of Farragut members will join other teams walking to raise money and awareness of the global water crisis at the 2nd Annual Walk for Water, a fundraising event benefitting Water Mission.

The event takes place starting at 10 a.m., Saturday, April 13, at the Marble Pavilion in Lakeshore Park, 5930 Lyons View Pike in Knoxville near The Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart.

Any businesses, organizations and individuals may form teams to participate in the walk. Each of those communities support those teams and help fundraise.

During this event, participants have the opportunity to “walk in the shoes of our global neighbors,” according to Water Mission’s website.

Walk for Water “is an immersive experience,” said Katie Romba, event coordinator of WM’s Knoxville Walk for Water. “On average (in impacted areas), women and children are walking around 3.5 miles a day to get water, so we want to emulate that.

“Our route is a 3.5-mile walk through Lakeshore Park,” Romba added. As participants walk, they carry 2-gallon buckets of water.

“Our ultimate goal is to raise $75,000, and that will enable 1,500 people to have clean water,” she said. “So the more we have signed up, the more we are marketing to their employees and communities to join the walk.”

To sign up for participation, visit https://walkforwater.rallybound.org/walk-for-water-knoxville-2024

One Farragut Rotarian leading the way is Tory Kinson, who became an advocate last year and again will be participating.

“It’s very dear to my heart,” said Kinson, a team advocate with Water Mission.

“This is one charity I was really attracted to because, A, where it’s putting its work; B, that it’s connected with Christian faith; and (C), almost every dollar goes to help the community. It’s not being absorbed into some kind of overhead,” Kinson said in a February 2022 interview.

For more information about the event, call Kinson at 865-313-5403 or e-mail to icarusvic@charter.net.

As a member of the WM team, Kinson is “one of our advocates to the Rotary Clubs in the area,” Romba said. “Rotary has been an immense connection to Water Mission for years. They funded many projects with Water Mission at corporate headquarters.”

WM invests in a lot of the areas Rotary Club is invested in as well, she added. “I believe we have three Rotary Clubs in the area involved: Farragut, Bearden and Oak Ridge. We have a really great community investment in the walk itself.”

Romba explained there are more than 2 billion people around the world who lack access to clean water. That’s in developing countries that don’t have water systems as part of their community. She said those people are walking miles every day “to whatever watering hole there is and pulling their water from there.

“A lot of times they are pulling water from the same area that the animals are drinking from and walking through. It’s muddy and all sorts of bacteria, so it’s not safe to be drinking,” Romba added.

Or, she noted those sites may be worn-torn or natural disaster areas, such as earthquake-affected, “where there once was easy access to water (but) now that infrastructure has been torn down.

Water Mission is a non-profit Christian engineering organization headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina that designs, builds and implements safe water, sanitation and hygiene solutions.