The Clear Rounds for Clean Water Project

The Clear Rounds for Clean Water Project
appearing July 2009 in a Rotary International Publication

The Beginning
In the summer of 2006 I was on my way to the Richardson East Rotary luncheon, in Richardson, Texas. It was very hot, I was late and the traffic was so slow that I could have walked faster than I was driving. All of these factors did not bode well for being particularly engaged by the program offered this day at my Rotary. I was wrong! A Rotarian by the name of Oran Bain spoke about his visits to Africa, twelve at that time, and detailed efforts of the local African Rotarians and his group of Rotarians to provide a source of safe, clean water to villages in South Africa, Uganda, Malawi and Zambia. The means were simple, easy for the indigenous people to understand and maintain and extremely effective. Oran’s statistics concerning the Sub Saharan Africa continent and statistics on a worldwide basis were staggering to me. You can reduce the infant mortality rate by 50% when clean water is accessible. Some individuals walk for ten to twelve hours a day to secure several gallons of water for their family for just that day, to turn around and do the same thing again day after day. Can you imagine not naming your child until it was at least five years old because he or she might not live that long? These are just a few of the bullet points that I remember from that afternoon. The scope of the Global Safe, Clean Water Initiative of Rotary International and the selfless dedicated Rotarians all over the world who donate their time and money was monumental and inspiring. I returned to my car, where I had left a huge, thermos type drinking mug filled with water that was still ice cold, crystal clear and very safe to drink. I was embarrassed and ashamed that just a little over an hour ago I had been frustrated, stressed and felt over committed to my tiny and minor problems and irritations.

I wish I could say at that moment I vowed to get involved. That if an opportunity ever came around where I could help or contribute in some small way, I would be the first in line. This is not what happened. However, I did not forget about Oran Bain and what he and a few Rotarians had accomplished with so little that had changed the world for so many lives. A little over a year later I resigned from the Richardson East Rotary due to changes in my schedule where traveling on a regular basis made it impossible to attend weekly meetings with any consistency. ( I have recently rejoined Rotary as a member of eClubone Rotary, which is an internet Rotary.)

In the fall of 2008 an opportunity to get involved presented itself. I have years of experience on business, trade association and charity boards. I also have a strong avocation in the equestrian (horse sports) field, having been a rider and competitor all of my life. At this time I was asked to help create a new kind of horse show series in the Southwestern United States. I was laughing and walking away, shaking my head with a resounding, “No thanks‚” when a strong voice behind me said with great emphasis, “you can choose any project in the world to receive 100% of all the charitable funds raised!” That stopped me. I inquired if that was indeed a serious commitment and I was assured that it was. The light bulb in my head flashed and every second of Oran Bain’s power point presentation of Rotary International’s Global Safe, Clean Water Initiative replayed through my head and my heart. I mentally subverted all the panic associated with how I would start and maintain a nonprofit corporation with a global outreach; I took a really deep breathe, I took a very prayerful moment and replied, “OK, Rotary International and Clean Water.”

The Nonprofit Corporation
Clear Rounds for Clean Water, as of May 1, 2009, has been recognized by the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Government as a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit corporation qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devices, transfers or gifts, and is further classified as a public charity. It is not a process that I would ever do again, nor would have ever attempted in the first place had I any idea of what I was embarking upon. The two phrases, “government institution” and “legal documents” are the only descriptions that are needed to portray a process that started more than nine months ago. In April I involved my Congressman, Sam Johnson, and his wonderful staff here in Richardson, Texas. I am very indebted to their immediate attention to the status of Clear Rounds for Clean Water, and their frequent reports back to me. I am certain that the wheels of government moved a little quicker with some prompting from the government!

Clear Rounds for Clean Water has eight members on the Board of Directors and an Advisory Board that is blessed with a diversity of individuals that represent a global influence. Another major player in this corporation is my partner and co-founder, Britt McCormick of Elmstead Farm in Parker, Texas. McCormick’s background comes from a second generation of excellent horsemen, with national experience as both competitor and coach. McCormick has produced and managed top rated United States Equestrian Federation horse shows across the southern part of the United States for over ten years. Biographies of these people can be read on our website at www.clearroundsforcleanwater.org. This website will always be a work in progress and very clearly shows the partnership between the Rotarians, the equestrians and several key volunteers who are going to make this a tremendous source of revenue for the Rotary Foundation and Rotary International’s global efforts for safe and clean water for many years to come.

The Mission
At least 1.1 billion people lack access to a supply of safe water, and 2.4 billion lack access to basic sanitation. Every year millions of people, mostly children, die from diseases associated with unsafe water and inadequate sanitation and hygiene. Each day, some 6,000 children die for want of clean water and sanitation. Clear Rounds for Clean Water is solely dedicated to providing charitable funding for the Rotary International Global Safe, Clean Water Initiative. We want to play a major part in reducing the appalling number of people who currently do not have access to safe, clean water. The equestrian community is blessed with generous resources and equally generous hearts. A top rated horse show or a horse show series can be anywhere in the world and can last as long as several weeks. A “clear round” is a term used in horse sports when a horse and rider team have jumped all the obstacles in a course without knocking any down or refusing to jump any obstacle, in a predetermined amount of time calculated in seconds. To bring together the fact of global need for safe, clean water, the equestrian and the equestrian sport spectator we have created Clear Rounds for Clean Water.

For over 100 years Rotary International has a history of successful humanitarian service projects worldwide. With Rotary International as the recipient of Clear Rounds for Clean Water funds, Rotary International Matching Grant program will be able to combine our funding with matching grants from the Rotary Foundation and other organizations enabling our dollars to become 1 1/2 to 3 times greater than the original amount.

We are also totally committed to providing the 21st century horse and rider combination with the type of competition that will be tremendous fun for the competitor and great horse sport entertainment for the spectator. We are producing horse shows that will be all-inclusive for every level of horse and rider. The quality of our horse shows is established and we have set our monetary funding goal very high for the Rotary International Global Safe, Clean Water Initiative. Everyone and anyone can help us achieve our goals. We have a United States Equestrian Federation “AA” rated 5 day horse show, The Texas Sport Horse Cup, being held in Tyler, Texas, September 2 – 6, 2009. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world or if you’ve never even seen a horse, let alone like them or like to watch competitions, you can help and you can contribute and we need you. If Rotary’s many different water projects are your interest, please learn more with following websites and/or contact me at the below contact information.

Jo Jo White
Jojo.white@hotmail.com
Jojo.white@JWPLimited.com
JWP Limited
2114 Irving Blvd
Dallas, Texas 75207
214-912-6823
www.clearroundsforcleanwater.org
www.wasrag.org