World Vision Global 6K for Water is Saturday in Copenhagen
May 14—COPENHAGEN — Olivia Boucher says she can't imagine not having clean, running water in her home.
The rural Lowville resident is a busy career woman, wife and mother of two daughters. She has participated in a local event to raise money for water projects in developing countries nearly every year it has been held.
"I have no idea how I would manage it all," Boucher said. "I most likely couldn't. We have well water with a UV light and filtration system to clean it for us. I can't fathom having to boil it to kill all the bacteria."
The World Vision Global 6K for Water, a 6-kilometer run/walk, is set for 9 a.m. Saturday, starting and finishing at Copenhagen Central School. This is the community's seventh annual event. Virtual participants are also welcome.
A $10 discount on registration fees runs through today.
Boucher and her daughter, Lydia, who has participated in the event twice before, are signed up again this year, along with Lydia's boyfriend, Dylan Petrie of Copenhagen.
Globally, 771 million people in 2020 lacked access to clean water, and more than 800 children under age 5 die every day from diarrhea caused by contaminated water, poor sanitation, and unsafe hygiene.
Six kilometers (3.7 miles) is the average distance women and children in the developing world walk each day to collect water that is often dirty and makes them sick.
"I participate as a reminder to not take for granted all the luxuries that I have at my fingertips on a daily basis," Olivia Boucher said. "When I want a fresh cup of cold water I just turn the tap."
The family, which includes Boucher's husband Jake and their younger daughter Lochlyn, has a horse, goats, chickens, a dog and two cats that all need drinking water as well.
"In the winter time we have to shut the pipes off in the barn, so we need to carry 5-gallon pails (of water) from the house out to them," Boucher said. "It's such a short distance, and to us it's an inconvenience. To others it's a way of life."
The family also plants a huge garden every spring.
"If the weather is dry and we have concerns of running the well dry from watering the animals and garden, we have the capabilities to just put a 250-gallon tank on the back of our truck, drive 5 miles and fill it for 25 cents a gallon."
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization that works in about 100 countries, including the United States. It is the largest non-governmental provider of clean water. The average cost for World Vision to provide lasting clean water to one person is $50.
As of Friday, there were 60 registered participants — ranging in age from 1 to 77 years — and $3,301 raised, more than halfway to the goal of 100 participants and $5,000, which would provide lasting clean water to 100 people.
Funds raised are used to drill water wells and build handwashing stations for communities and rural healthcare clinics, for programs on hygiene and handwashing behavior change, and to train community members to maintain these projects.
"Water is our most basic need," said local event organizer Leslie Sheldon. "We cannot really imagine how difficult our lives would be without easy access to clean water."
Participants each receive a T-shirt, finisher medal and a unique race bib featuring the name and photo of a child who will benefit from World Vision water projects. Most of the children on the race bibs are also available for sponsorship through World Vision.
Olivia, Lydia and Dylan's race bibs feature Brithani Juliana, age 5, of Guatemala, Liesse, 8, of Burundi, and Nadia Cristovao, 9, of Mozambique.
Olivia Boucher has sponsored three girls from Ethiopia through World Vision over the last 20 years. Her current sponsored child is Bereket, 12.
"Having a sponsor child is a wonderful reminder to stay humble and remember all of the amenities that I am blessed with," Boucher said. "I pray that my donations help to make someone's life struggles a little less stressful."
Joseph Freeman, the NNY DJ Guy, of Lowville has volunteered to provide music at the event for the fifth year, and there will be refreshments and prizes.
To register for the 6K, visit global6k.worldvision.org/team/copenhagen and click on "Join our team." Use promo code EMPOWERMOMS for the discount, which brings the registration cost for adults to $40 and for ages 18 and younger to $15.
The discount expires at 11:59 p.m. today.
For more information, contact Ms. Sheldon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-777-0994.