/ News & Headlines

27 Jan 2010

London Free Press Article: $100,000 Donated to Back Haiti Water Project

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There's a rising tide of community support behind Trojan Technologies' efforts to supply clean water to Haiti.

Trojan CEO Marvin DeVries said about $100,000 has poured in from the community since the London-based company announced it was sending two of its ultraviolet water purification systems to the earthquake-ravaged country.

DeVries said the response has been spontaneous and overwhelming. "We have certainly not gone out to solicit funds from everyone. It's just seems to get out by word-of-mouth."

DeVries said the first two units, which can purify a total of 27,500 litres daily, are on their way to Haiti and should arrive this week.

The larger of the two purification units will be set up at a hospital in the capital of Port au Prince and the smaller unit will also be set up at the hospital or a refugee camp.

Trojan is working with the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, which has staff that will set up the equipment.

DeVries said the cost of installing the first two units has climbed to $70,000 because water storage units, pumps, generators and spare parts had to be added.

But that still leaves money left over with more coming in from the community, Trojan's parent company the Danaher Corp., as well as matching funds from the federal government.

"There will be a phase two. We just don't know how large it is going to be," DeVries said.

DeVries said the money has come from schools, institutions, churches and individuals as well as Trojan staff.

One of the big contributors has been the students and staff at Chatham Christian high school. In one week the small private school with only 110 students and 10 staff raised $15,217.

Teacher Elizabeth Enzlin said about $11,000 was raised through a pay-what-you-can community dinner featuring Haitian-style food such as chicken, peppers, black beans and rice with all the ingredients donated.

"There were droves of people. We ran out of food," said Enzlin.

Enzlin said the school has turned the fundraising campaign into a learning opportunity with students covering an entire wall with news and photos of Haiti.

Hank Daniszewski is a Free Press reporter.

hank.daniszewski@sunmedia.ca

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