2023 Top Fundraiser for the AWWA WE Walk!
Congratulations to Doug Schlepp!
RH2’s Doug Schlepp has emerged as the 2023 Top Fundraiser for the AWWA WE Walk! 2023 event! We extend our congratulations to Doug for this remarkable accomplishment and are proud of his outstanding achievement.
American Water Works Association’s (AWWA) Water Equation (WE) Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides funding for workforce advancements, scholarships, students, young professionals, and Community Engineering Corps. WE is committed to fulfilling the critical need to ensure that the water sector has the necessary workforce to provide clean and safe water to communities in North America.
WE Walk! is an eight-week virtual walk/fundraiser that is in its fourth year and has raised $110,000 since its inception. The event begins in April and runs through the end of May. Participants support the programs by walking, hiking, cycling, kayaking, giving, engaging with the water community, and gathering donations for designated scholarships. Over 11,000 miles were walked by participants.
Within this short two-month timeframe, Doug was the Top Fundraising individual across all of North America. He was part of an 11-person team named "PNWS Walks for Water" that raised a total of $7,186, making them the top fundraising group. Overall, this event raised $33,901 for water and wastewater operators continuing education, young professional leadership programs, and youth STEAM education programs.
When asked about why he got involved with WE Walk, Doug Schlepp shared, “I became a WE Walker through my association with AWWA-PNWS. This came at a time when the pandemic was limiting social activities, but I found walking was a great outlet. This was also an opportunity to bring awareness of the water operator in both my professional and social community. The dedication of our local water operators to both maintain and sustain safe water supply during the peak of the pandemic was a big motivator for me.
“While I have a great rapport with members of the PNWS, the WE Walk updates introduced me to people within the AWWA community from across the country. The enthusiasm of individuals, and teams from coast to coast motivated me to put my best foot forward, both raising money and logging miles. In return, the PNWS has benefitted from the WE Walk program through matched scholarships and PNWS Short Schools. It’s great to see a program put into action and immediately see the results and impact.”
Doug’s stellar participation with WE Walk comes as no surprise, however. Doug also achieved the Top Fundraiser in 2020, he was the third finisher in 2021, he came in second place in 2022.
AWWA’s goal for 2023 was to fund and award “One AWWA Operator Scholarships” for thirty (30) applicants to encourage a career path for entry-level water operators. “One AWWA Operator Scholarships” provide educational assistance for materials, tuition, and certifications. With the addition of the thirty additional scholarships, the annual WE Walk! event now funds 140 awards that help attract and retain a new generation of water professionals.
Congratulations to Doug on his well-earned recognition as Top Fundraiser! RH2 is proud of your support of the water community that benefits us all.
Take a moment to congratulate Doug on his accomplishment by heading over to our LinkedIn post: https://bit.ly/3N1Oj9s