From Bob Wubbena of the Downtown Rotary Club:

"Cool Jazz and Clean Water" is more than a slogan to the seven Rotary Clubs in the Lacey, Olympia and Tumwater area. The seven clubs have lived their model of "service above self" as they have developed, implemented and grown the November High School Jazz Band event for area schools and then treated the community to some of the best Jazz music and military band performances of the year. Then they add to the plan some "clean water projects" for some of the poorest of the poor in Malawi, Africa. This Rotary event "gives back" to the needs of our community and the needs of our global citizens.

Beginning in 2002 under the initiation of the Downtown Olympia Rotary Club, this annual event now involves all seven of the Rotary Clubs in the area. The first five years, with the strong support and sponsorship of the seven clubs, the business community, the governmental and organizational leaders and just good citizens of Thurston County has provided $50, 0000 to purchase over 100 new band instruments for local school districts for use by low income students, and another $65,000 to be matched by Rotary International for over $165,000 to be used for Clean Water Projects in Malawi, Africa, one of the poorest nations in the world.

The local Rotary Clubs have teamed with Water for People headquartered in Denver, and 30 other Rotary Clubs throughout the USA, to design and implement a unique regional project that includes education, economic development assistance and a regional water and sanitation project for a central mission, ten villages and 15,000 citizens of the area. The COOL JAZZ AND CLEAN WATER EVENT and the local Rotarians are the central team that is making this all work. The first two years of COOL JAZZ AND CLEAN WATER donations helped build three projects in the Lilongwe (national capital) and Blantyre area. In 2005, the local Rotary Clubs decided to go regional and help lead the re-construction of a 100 year old mission water project at Livingstonia, Malawi----"Mr. Livingstone-I Presume". Yes, history, culture, life changing events, and local connections to a world changing event is part of this COOL JAZZ AND CLEAN WATER EVENT.

Beginning in 2004, the local event began to support the reconstruction of the existing water system serving only about 25 % of the ten villages and 15,000 people. But there is more to this story. The Centralia, Chehalis and Lewis County Rotary Clubs were already supporting the work of Hank and Jenny Kirk start up a new university at the Livingstonia Mission---Hank is the retired President of Centralia Community College and Jenny is his able chief of staff. The Kirks and their support group have revived a 100 year old dream of Dr.Robert Law, a UK missionary, to make available a University education for the local Malawians. The Kirks, donating the time of their retired lives, have revived this 100 year old dream and made it real. The first graduating class of this 100 year old university was held this September, with the students and community having water service on an interrupted and unreliable basis. This is where the local Rotary Clubs joined the team and became the water supply planners for the University campus and the nearby village and mission.

The COOL JAZZ AND CLEAN WATER EVENT sponsors took on the challenge in 2004 and used the net proceeds to begin the rebuilding project. The water and sanitation project will serve ten villages, 15,000 people and the central mission of a church, a hospital, a primary and secondary school and the university. This project includes twelve phases of about5 $50,000 each. Our local funds are matched by District and Rotary International matching grants at a ratio of 1 to 2 � . The end objective is a $500,000 project that will result in quality water and sanitation service for the 15,000 Malawians. The construction of the new spring intake structure, sedimentation basin and 4.6 kilometers of transmission pipeline from the source to the center of the mission is completed. Two new storage tanks for the University have also been built for a more reliable service for the new students. The distribution system from the mission to each of the ten villages will be built over the next three year.

Each of the ten villages was assigned a 300 meter stretch of the four foot deep trench for the pipeline and each will dig the trenches for their own village distribution systems. They also made bricks and hauled the bricks, sand, aggregate, cement and piping from the end of the road to the source area two miles up a steep hillside.

The Rotarians purchased the piping and construction material and hired the staff to design and oversee the construction of this five year project. The local Rotarians are managing the project with the financial participation from 30 other Rotary Clubs from throughout the USA. When completed, local villagers will be trained to maintain the system and to help neighboring villages to also build their own water systems.