By Wishing Well International Foundation
Established in 1974, WQA primarily represents the sector of the water treatment industry devoted to treating water at residential and commercial locations. The Illinois-based trade association is well-recognized throughout the world, with more than 2,700 company members.
Based in Deerfield Beach, FL, H2O International USA has been a key supporter of WWIF from the beginning. The water filter manufacturer has regularly set aside time and resources for the marketing and promotion of WWIF projects and events. Guillermo Guzman, President of H2O International USA, has maintained a working relationship with Tony Marchesini, President of H2O International South Africa in Cape Town since 1994. The partnership has grown beyond their business interests to embrace philanthropy.
Guzman founded WWIF in 2010; Marchesini then established WWIF South Africa shortly thereafter. “The early 90s were an exciting time in South Africa, when waves of positive change were sweeping the nation,” said Marchesini. “It was in that spirit that we were inspired to create something that would have a lasting, positive impact for others.” The combined sponsorship revenue from the two companies will have an impact on an estimated 2,500 people over 10 years.
The establishment and mission of WWIF actually originated among a handful of WQA members. Guzman said, “Our membership and involvement with WQA has been a primary factor for Wishing Well’s mission and growth. We’re all water-quality professionals. Not only do we know the available technologies to improve the quality of water, but we’re also aware of the hundreds of millions of people around the world who lack access to minimally safe water. Wishing Well exists to connect the problem solvers to the problem.”
H2O International USA and H2O International South Africa have both committed to sponsoring a vehicle and a passenger for the 10-1-10 Africa Expedition, WWIF’s 2016 signature event. The two-week adventure will take sponsors and representatives across South Africa and Swaziland to deploy more than 150 water filtration systems in communities that lack access to clean water. The ’10-1-10’ of the title indicates that $10 will provide clean water for 1 person for 10 years.
The Vehicle Plus Sponsorship is $12,500 and covers all expenses for one team member and company branding on a 4 x 4 vehicle. Fifteen vehicles will take a convoy of team members from one location to another. One vehicle reserved for media members will film and document all aspects of the event, providing valuable exposure for all involved. Additional benefits of this sponsorship include website and social media promotion for the sponsor, plus a magazine announcement and press release about their contribution.
For those who are unable to attend, a Vehicle Sponsorship for $10,000 includes all of the above, with the exception of a team member. “We realize that not everybody’s going to be able to make a trip like this,” said Guzman. “Nonetheless, we’re hoping that everyone will understand the impact of this event and will get involved to whatever extent they can.”
WWIF USA and WWIF South Africa have both successfully executed separate fund-raising events, such as golf and community tournaments, but the complexity and large scale of the Africa Expedition has them working together extensively to ensure the success of the event. The main emphasis behind the marketing effort is to spread the word about the expedition and the significant impact it’s going to have on many lives. The WWIF SA team is not only planning the expedition route and the logistics of the itinerary, but also working to get the general public and corporate sponsors involved. This work is being coordinated by the team members of H2O International SA.
The marketing effort will continue throughout 2015 and until the May 2016 expedition. H2O USA and H2O SA are the first major sponsors in what will hopefully be a full roster of company sponsors. “We felt it was crucial for us to lead by example,” said Guzman. “We cannot ask other companies to put in valuable time and resources if we have not done so ourselves. Therefore, we are calling on the rest of the water treatment industry to join us in this mission, to secure a sponsorship and exercise their corporate social responsibility toward this worthy cause. What initially looks like a big cost will ultimately produce a great return.”
For more information about the Expedition and see the full list of available sponsorships, visit the website, www.wishingwellintl.org/10-1-10Africa/.