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Students work at creating a global legacy at Beaver Dam High School

Beaver Dam High School Key Club members, from left, Katelyn Braker, Raeanne Gayan and Megan Stippich all attended the first Legacy Summit, sponsored by the Thirst Project. The summit was held in Los Angeles and brought about 150 students from around the country together to listen to inspirational speakers and learn more about spreading the message about the Thirst Project.

TERRI PEDERSON

When Megan Stippich joined the Key Club at Beaver Dam High School as a freshman, she brought an idea with her that has grown into a successful project supporting Thirst Project.

It is an idea she plans to carry forward as she attends Carroll University in Waukesha in the fall. Stippich plans to start a Circle K Club, the college version of Key Club, and hopes to continue her support of Thirst Project with that group.

Thirst Project began in 2008 with a group of college students from southern California who wanted to provide safe drinking water for everyone in the Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland) in Africa.

As Stippich introduced the project in Beaver Dam, she found support from the national organization and representatives from the project have visited the school to talk about the need for drinking water across the world for the last four years.

Stippich said Beaver Dam High School students have raised over $3,000 through various fundraising efforts spearheaded by the Key Club.

This last weekend, Stippich and two other Key Club members from Beaver Dam High School, sophomores Katelyn Braker and Raeanne Gayan, attended the first Legacy Summit, sponsored by the Thirst Project.

The summit was held in Los Angeles and brought about 150 students from around the country together to listen to inspirational speakers and learn more about spreading the message about the Thirst Project.

Gayan said she learned a lot from the speakers including a former drug addict who spoke about never giving up.

“The speakers were very inspirational,” Braker said. “They reminded us why we do what we do.”

During their free time, they were able to meet other students who also had raised funds for Thirst Project.

Stippich said a woman from the region whose village benefited from the clean water spoke and really brought home the need for the support of the project.

“She couldn’t talk at the beginning of her speech,” Stippich said. “She was crying out of happiness.”

All the money raised by the students at Beaver Dam High School goes to the cost of digging wells that provide clean drinking water, Stippich said. Each well costs around $12,000.

Although Beaver Dam High School Key Club has been a pioneer with the Thirst Project in Wisconsin, Stippich said other schools in Wisconsin, including Oakfield and Waupun, have also gotten involved.

“It is great to see it expand across the state,” Stippich said.

Follow Terri Pederson on Twitter @tlp53916 or contact her at 920-356-6760.

Follow Terri Pederson on Twitter @tlp53916 or contact her at 920-356-6760.

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