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Lindon charity breaks ground on two dams in Kenya

Published: Thursday, Oct. 22 2009 2:32 p.m. MDT

LINDON — In Our Own Quiet Way announced Tuesday that it has broken ground on two earthen dams in Kenya and hopes to build about 1,000 more in the next 10 years to help relieve drought conditions there.

This summer, the Utah-based nonprofit organization that aims to help people in underdeveloped countries help themselves teamed up with ActionProfiles.com, a social-networking organization connecting those interested in various sports, to create the "Give a Dam" campaign, helping raise money for dam-building in Kenya.

Another of the nonprofit group's corporate sponsors, Rosenberg Associates, a civil-engineering firm from St. George, is working with Kenyan engineers to build the dams that will hold about 30 million gallons of water each and serve 2,000 to 10,000 people living near each dam, said Ron Hatfield, cofounder of In Our Own Quiet Way.

Brighton High School recently became involved by making the "Give a Dam" campaign its fundraiser this year, Hatfield said. The high school pledged to donate funds sufficient for four dams to be built. Following an auction assembly Tuesday morning in which even the principal's parking spot was auctioned off, the school is halfway to meeting that pledge.

"It's not just a concept," Hatfield said of the campaign. "It's actually moving forward."

On Nov. 1, a shipment of about $1 million worth of donated medical, humanitarian and school supplies that members of the community helped assemble with Our Own Quiet Way in July should arrive in Kenya.

Hatfield said Quiet Way's Kenyan board will be distributing the materials to schools, medical centers and Kenyans, based on the highest area of need. The money to ship the supplies came from Quiet Way's annual fundraiser, the Princess Festival.

Hatfield said his organization also is working to create its own line of princess characters, with costumes and books to go with them, for the 2010 Princess Festival. Orem author K.L. Morgan will write the books.

The next Princess Festival will expand outside of Utah to at least four other cities, Hatfield said.

For more information about In Our Own Quiet Way, visit quietway.org.

e-mail: slenz@desnews.com

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