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Druley: Mill Creek golf event purely for charity

Published: Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014 10:11 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014 10:25 p.m. CDT

No matter how a field of charity golfers fares at Geneva's Mill Creek today, they're destined to find the water.

The second annual Links for Living Waters benefit helps raise money for a cause led by Fox Valley Presbyterian Church that installs water purification systems in Guatemala.

Mill Creek pro Steve Feddern, who is part of the Fox Valley congregation, has visited Guatemala twice, helping with placing the systems and educating citizens on the uses of clean water.

"It’s a real rewarding mission," Feddern wrote in an email. "Not just for the people in the country but also ourselves and the church community."

Living Waters for the World, a Spring Hill, Tennessee-based mission, boasts numerous initiating partners throughout the nation. Fox Valley Presbyterian Church's involvement dates to 2007, and includes five system installations to date.

"It's actually cheaper to purchase pop in Guatemala than it is to purchase clean drinking water," said Fred Filiaggi, chairman of Fox Valley's Living Waters initiative.

Last year's inaugural golf outing raised approximately $17,000. Today's event will help fund the installation of three more systems – two in November and one in the first quarter of 2015.

Average systems cost $3,000 to $3,300.

Systems often are installed at churches, schools or medical centers. In some communities, one of those institutions operates in conjunction with the other two. Fox Valley has initiated three systems in Guatemala's southwest and more industrialized region, and two in the northwest, which is home to more indigenous tribes.

The initiating partner – in this instance, Fox Valley – offers plenty of instruction to the operating partner along the way. There also is health and hygiene education.

"Almost like a small business contract where we make sure A) that they're a good fit, that they're going to operate the system properly … and B) it helps the economy there, keeps people employed and keeps the systems sustainable," Filiaggi said.

Golf registration is closed for today's event, but those interested in donating or in learning more can log on to www.livingwatersfvpres.org.

"Mill Creek has been a wonderful partner in helping us to raise awareness and helping us support the cause," Filiaggi said. "We're very appreciative."

Family trees and route trees: Sixteen years ago this November, Connor Fedderly scurried onto the field amid the rest of the onrushers celebrating Kaneland's second successive Class 3A state football title.

It was at that moment that then-Knights assistant Tom Fedderly did something he rarely does these days as Kaneland's eighth-year head coach.

He looked beyond the next game.

"So way back, when he could just barely walk, we were thinking about it. And ever since then, he was like a water boy, ballboy," Tom Fedderly said. "So it'll be a fun year."

Coaching his son is a reality Fedderly will live for a third straight fall as wide receiver Connor Fedderly braces for his senior season.

With Fedderly's wife, Kathy, teaching in Naperville District 203, there was brief conjecture years ago about where the couple's children would attend school. The family solved the issue pretty briskly, choosing Kaneland.

"We really liked this community out here, and the kids have an opportunity in a smaller school to do lots of different things," Tom Fedderly said. "And so we bought a house out here."

Fedderly's daughter, Holly, will join Connor as a varsity athlete, competing as a junior on the girls volleyball team.

• Kevin Druley is a sportswriter for the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5347 or kdruley@shawmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @kevindruley.

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