Four Rotary clubs in Lancashire decided to pool resources to fund a project that none of them could hope to complete on their own. This is the first time this has been attempted in the Northwest Rotary District 1190. The project was proposed by Klaus Bung a member of Church & Oswaldtwistle Rotary club who visited Maikot, a remote village in the Gorkha district of Nepal. Klaus discovered that the only water supply for the village was a well that was more than a kilometre down a steep path, 400 feet below the village. The main school for the district was in Maikot and village children spent most of their time carrying water. Lack of water also meant there was no sanitation at the village. The total project cost to create a pumping station, pipeline, storage system and purification would be £45k. The clubs would have to raise £15k and this would be matched by grants from Rotary International Foundation fund and Rotary District grants.
Church & Oswaldtwistle, Great Harwood & Rishton, Accrington and Pendle view decided to call the project “WaterWorks” and host a grand charity dinner to raise £7.5k half of the total required and other evens to secure the remainder. Two other local Rotary clubs Blackburn and Garstang and Over Wyre helped with the organisation and there were donations from Darwen, Clitheroe and Kendal clubs. The chosen venue for the WaterWorks Dinner was the “Premier Suit” at Ewood Park. More than 300 £40 tickets would have to be sold and additional sponsorship would also have to be sought. The response from local businesses was fabulous. The Casino tables were sponsored by Haworth Financial services, Slater Hayward Law, Whatmore Plastics, Hedley Stockbrokers, Kitchener 2000 and South Ribble Printing. Menus were sponsored by Whalley wines. Many other local companies donated prizes for the 350 bottle tombola, reserved tables and donated fabulous prizes for the auction.
The night started with and jazz quartet and champagne reception, courtesy of Northcote at the Rovers who also provided the delicious dinner and donated a dinner for two at Northcote, for one of the prizes. Steve Massam hosted the evening and after dinner there was dancing to music from the amazing “Casablanca Boys” who kept the dance floor full all night. Our guest could also gamble their $100 funny money donated by Haworth’s Financial Services on one of six tables provide by “Casino Casino Casino” of Blackpool. The top prize on the Tombola, a Magnum of Rioja Reserva was won by Liz Flood, Steve and Angie Christopher were top bidders on the holiday for eight in Fowey, Cornwall. David and Jeanne Shaw were highest bidders on the HPB two week holiday for two. George Blenkinship of Church and Oswaldtwistle and Ann-Marie Etherington of Gt Harwood and Rishton were the main project coordinators and they were presented with gifts by the organising committee for the fine efforts. Two amazing holiday prizes and a cruise on Lake Windermere were the highlights of the auction which raised more than £3000 the Tombola was an instant sell-out and raised £1500 and with ticket sales and other sponsorship the even raised just over £9000. The feedback from our guests was extraordinarily positive and several wanted to know when we would do it again. Keep watching at http://www.waterworks.org.uk/ where you can find out more about the event and the projects progress.
Sharron Edwards / David Shaw (Great Harwood Rotary)