Written by Sarah Hauer – Guest Writer
Every time many children in this world want a simple drink of water they walk at least 2 miles for water that is often tainted. The miles add up and these children can spend up to 60% of their day walking to collect water.
When Chris Olmanson (11) found out about these children, he wanted to help. To get the project started he enlisted the help of his brother Alex Olmanson (11) and his friend Andy Kleven (11). “I thought it was a good idea,” said Kleven. Together they have organized a walk-a-thon intended to provide easy access to clean water for those children. “At first I was against it,” said Alex Olmanson, “because I would have to wake up half an hour earlier but then I became educated on the cause and felt it would be a cool thing to do.”
The walk-a-thon will take place every school day from December 1st to the 23rd before and after school. NOTE: the walk-a-thon will not take place on December 18th due to the D.A.R.E. graduation at Greenwood). During those days students (faculty are welcome to join) from Wayzata High School will brave the Minnesota winter walking 1.5 miles on foot to and from school.
“If you would like to participate you can just come and walk,” said Chris Olmanson. The group will meet at Greenwood Elementary School where arrangements have been made for students to leave their cars in the parking lot closest to the baseball fields. Free hot apple cider will be provided by local grocery stores to warm up the walkers before they enter into another frigid Minnesota winter morning. Walkers will leave Greenwood at 6:40 AM and will arrive at Wayzata High School at around 7:15 AM.
The effort will continue after school where the group will gather at the athletic entrance and leave the high school at 2:30 PM to walk back to Greenwood. However, if you had an after school activity it is no problem if you couldn’t walk back with us at 2:30 said Chris Olmanson. Also you don’t have to walk every day, “just coming once would be greatly appreciated,” said Chris Olmanson.
”The hope is to raise enough money to provide an entire school with a water system so that these kids will be able to walk 2 steps instead of 2 miles for a simple glass of water,” said Chris Olmanson. The cost of the water system is $5,000. This money will be raised by endorsements from companies as well as donations from students and community members. “The more students that we can get involved in this, the more publicity we are likely to receive. And with more publicity, the number of donations that we are likely to receive will also increase. Any kind of participation would be greatly appreciated and welcomed whole-heartedly,” said Chris Olmanson. Students who want to donate should see MaryKay Williams in the Y.E.S. office (located inside the counseling office on the 2nd floor).