Community

Etta Projects celebrating 10 years of service

Etta Projects will celebrate its 10th year of helping create sustainable solutions to poverty in rural Bolivia with an all-ages H2O (Help 2 Others) concert on Saturday, Sept. 21, at Etta Turner Park.

The concert is 2:30 to 7:30 p.m., featuring Vividal — a local band — along with Torre, Audentia, Shot Gun Kitchen and Kayla Stewart.

The H2O concert, partnered by the South Kitsap High School Key Club, will honor the life and legacy of Etta Turner, a Port Orchard teenager who was killed as a 16-year-old in a bus crash on Nov. 25, 2002, in Bolivia. She was a Rotary International exchange student at the time of her death. Six other people were killed in the accident.

Etta Projects has supported thousands of families in Bolivia to transcend the limitation of poverty through sustainable water, sanitation and health programs.

Executive Director and Founder Pennye Nixon said Etta Projects was created to honor the “life and humanitarian concerns” of her daughter. Her vision is a Bolivia “free of hunger, poverty, illiteracy and inequality.”

“We are an international organization that works in Bolivia putting in clean water and sanitation systems in remote rural villages, along with assisting with healthcare and nutrition issues,” Nixon said.

She said the nonprofit works every year with various SKHS groups, such as Key Club or Builders Club, to create a forum in which the high school students are able to educate the public about an issue.

“Adults usually educate kids, we try to reverse that and give the kids an opportunity to educate grown-ups,” Nixon said. “It's usually about global poverty or water issues.”

Several months after Etta's death, local Bolivians near the village where she was living contacted Nixon and asked if they could name a dining hall for malnourished children after Etta.

For the first six years, Etta Projects helped to open two dining halls and trained people to feed up to 250 children a day, along with training the mothers in job skills and money management, Nixon said.

She is expecting about 240 people at the event and the group is collaborating with Slaughter County Brewery Co., which will serve Oktoberfest-inspired food and will host a beer garden that will feature a brew named after Etta.

The Key Club will host a “root beer” garden.

Nixon said the event will focus on global water issues and will include a water walk on the new Bay Street Pedestrian Pathway, where individuals can carry 5-gallon water buckets for long distances. There also will be other exhibits for the public to view.

Nixon said a $5 donation per person is suggested.

For more information, visit  www.ettaprojects.org or contact Nixon at  360-876-7487.

 

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