Friday, January 25, 2008

Kenyon Student-Athletes Organize Refreshing Fundraiser

Before Saturday's 2 p.m. home women's basketball game against Oberlin, Kenyon Student-Athletes members will be selling 34 oz. water bottles featuring a "H2OPE" logo for seven dollars each. All the proceeds will go to the Interchurch Medical Association's Lifestraw project. Monetary donations also will be accepted, and the fundraiser will continue at Lords' and Ladies' contests on campus as long as supplies remain available.

Sophomore Rachel Goheen, a member of the women's soccer team, classmate Stephanie Caton, a Ladies softball player, were inspired to search for a way to help people in struggling areas of the world after Goheen returned from a summer abroad. They found IMA's Lifestraw emergency water purification initiative, which aims to stem the spread of cholera in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the World Health Organization states diarrheal disease kills approximately 28,000 people annually and is the leading cause of death in the country.

The Lifestraw is a portable water filter about the size of a large kazoo that can be carried easily on a string around a person's neck. According to the product's website, the straw offers relief from common diarrheal disease by effectively removing 99 percent of waterborne bacteria and viruses. Each Lifestraw is capable of filtering 185 gallons of water, enough to last a typical Congolese family the better part of a year.

Goheen and Caton hope sales warrant ordering more water bottles. Their ultimate goal is to increase awareness in the cause and make the fundraiser a regular staple at Kenyon sporting events throughout the year.

For more information on IMA's Lifestraw initiative or to make an on-line donation, visit the organization's website at For more detailed information on the Lifestraw itself, go to

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