Oklahoma-based nonprofit prepares to laud 'pioneering spirit' with inaugural gala

Oklahoma-based Water4 Foundation is preparing for its first Pioneering Spirit Gala, a fundraiser to raise money to help the nonprofit continue its mission to provide impoverished people with access to clean water.
by Carla Hinton Published: September 16, 2012

An Oklahoma City-based nonprofit plans to highlight the state's compassionate and adventurous nature at a fundraiser event featuring actor Jennie Garth and Grammy Award-winning Gospel recording artist Sandi Patty.

The Water4 Foundation will host its inaugural Pioneering Spirit Gala on Sept. 27 in Oklahoma City. The event will include a silent auction, remarks by Garth, who is a Water4 ambassador, and a performance by Patty.

Terri Greenly, who co-founded the Water4 Foundation with her husband Dick, said former Congressman J.C. Watts, the event's chairman, will speak at the gala, and other congressional leaders are expected to attend as well.

Greenly said she and her husband are pleased that the foundation's first Pioneering Spirit Gala is sold out.

She said it means that many other individuals and groups believe in the foundation's mission.

“If you look at the definition of ‘pioneering' it can either be someone who came first or someone who's blazing a new trail,” Greenly said.

“We kind of think Oklahomans have done a good job of doing things in the past that were really neat and noteworthy and then there are a lot of Oklahomans now that are doing some really neat things to help solve the world water crisis in a different way and with a different approach than anybody's done before.”

The Greenlys, co-owners of Pumps of Oklahoma, founded the Water4 Foundation in 2009 to provide water to at-risk impoverished areas and to teach and provide employment opportunities through their inexpensive pumps and drilling methods. Since the foundation's inception, it has provided access to clean drinking water to more than 100,000 people in countries including Haiti, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Uganda.

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by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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