GENEVA – Imagine a world in which there is no clean water to drink, to cook with or bathe in – where every bit of water is contaminated and there is no mechanism to purify it.
That is the reality in Guatemala, and members of the Fox Valley Presbyterian Church in Geneva decided they wanted to help through a partnership with Living Waters for the World, a global mission of the Presbyterian Church USA.
Members have made 11 trips since 2007 to villages in Guatemala, member Fred Filiaggi of Batavia said. Filiaggi said he went on five of the trips.
“One out of five children die from waterborne illness before the age of five,” Filiaggi said. “We are doing this, essentially, village by village in the northwest and southwest regions. We work with institutions, primarily schools and health clinics, where they have established people who can help run and operate a system once it is installed.”
Normally, the church’s annual rummage sale raises about $14,000 toward the $20,000 cost to send two teams of six to eight per year with materials and installation, Filiaggi said.
But with a portion of the church under construction this year, members are now relying on a charity golf outing – called Links for Living Waters – scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Aug. 23 at Mill Creek Golf Course, 39W525 Herrington Drive, Blackberry Township.
It features a shotgun start at 1 p.m. and concludes with dinner at 5:30 p.m.
A foursome costs $300, individual registrations are $75 each, includes dinner, golf prizes and drawings for prizes.
The cost of attending the dinner is $50.
Advance registration is required, said Sally Cable, a church member from Geneva, who is organizing the charity golf event.
“We can have a maximum of 144 golfers, and we are getting close,” Cable said. “People can register through 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 19, because I have to let the golf course know how many.”
But, Cable said, those who want the dinner-only option can register all week.
The effort also is open to anyone who would like to donate by sending a tax-deductible contribution to the church at 227 East Side Drive, Geneva, IL 60134.
Businesses that would want to sponsor holes at this event or to donate items for prize drawings can contact Cable at 630-308-8527 or FVPClivingwatersgolfouting@yahoo.com.
Filiaggi said he hopes the community will support their cause, even if they cannot attend the golf outing.
Providing a sustainable water purification system also has resulted in better all around health for children, he said.
In one village, 70 percent of the children had been malnourished because of the lack of clean water, Filiaggi said.
Even though they were getting supplemental food, children would throw up or have diarrhea because of drinking bad water – and then not get any nourishment, Filiaggi said.
“It was amazing to see where we install a purification system, attendance at school improves and health improves,” Filaggi said.
If you go
Who: Fox Valley Presbyterian Church
What: Charity golf outing, Links for Living Waters
When: 11:30 a.m. Aug. 23
Where: Mill Creek Golf Course, 39W525 Herrington Drive, Blackberry Township
Why: To support the church's mission of installing water purification systems in Guatemala
To register and more info: http://livingwatersfvpres.org