From staff reports
Nearly 400 people from across Beaufort County joined forces in September to raise more than $58,000 in this year’s Beaufort Walk for Water.
Participants walked “together” in spirit as part of the organization’s first-ever virtual event, joining one of 24 different teams or walking on their own in neighborhoods and parks in Beaufort, neighboring islands and Bluffton the last two weekends in September.
The virtual approach — necessitated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — was an almost-unexpected success, according to Robert Lasher, Beaufort Walk for Water committee chair.
“We weren’t sure what to expect, but the community rallied around the walk again this year,” Lasher said in a release. “The virtual event allowed people to walk in smaller groups with fewer people around them, so they could feel safe and still be part of a bigger effort.”
Participants walked 3-mile routes carrying a bucket to symbolize the walk millions of women and children in developing countries make daily to collect water that’s often contaminated. The walk promotes awareness of the global water crisis and raises money for Water Mission, a Charleston-based Christian engineering organization that builds safe water solutions in developing countries and disaster areas.
Half of hospital beds in developing countries are filled with people suffering from water-related illnesses, and every 37 seconds someone dies.
The virtual approach actually added to the community connection for Sarah Folzenlogen of Lady’s Island, a veteran participant who walked this year with a small team in Beaufort’s historic district.
“It felt more community-oriented, knowing there were people all over the area walking at the same time for the same purpose,” Folzenlogen said. “I’ve been to Kenya on mission trips and seen how far people have to walk for water — and it’s not even clean water. This walk really hits home how fortunate we are.”
For more information, visit the Walk for Water site at bit.ly/Bftwalk20.