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Local wineries band together to bring clean water to impoverished countries

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Posted: Thursday, October 6, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 1:34 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Clean water is a luxury easily taken for granted. While most people in the United States can access potable water from one of several rooms in the average residence, those on the other side of the globe sometimes must walk miles to access a well or river — which could be contaminated with feces or decomposing bodies.

For Gregg Lewis, owner of The Dancing Fox Bakery & Winery, that thought is driving force behind a charity fundraising event hosted at Jessie's Grove Winery aimed at helping dig wells in impoverished nations.

“The World Heath Organization estimates a child dies every 15 seconds from water-related diseases,” Lewis said. “It’s not just thirst, either; they are dying of cholera, dysentery and malaria.”

The Oct. 15 event, Wine in 2 Water, is an effort from local wineries, musicians and businesses to help provide access to one of life’s basic necessities. By raising money for two organizations that construct wells in poverty-stricken nations, Lewis said he hopes Lodians can understand the tangible results they can achieve when working together.

“Water is a basic priority of life,” Lewis said. “Without it, there is nothing.”

The funds raised at the benefit concert will be donated to Bear Creek Water and Living Water International. The organizations work to dig wells and provide clean water to impoverished nations across the globe, said George H. Liepart of Bear Creek Water.

Through funds generated via philanthropy and recycling programs, Bear Creek Water has raised enough money to build more than 20 wells in countries such as Kenya, Liberia, Ghana and Peru. Eight individual wells have been constructed in Haiti alone by Bear Creek Water, agency records show.

The event will feature live music from Molly’s Revenge and the duo of Levi Huffman and Mombo.

Molly’s Revenge plays Celtic music with instruments like bagpipes and fiddles, while Levi Huffman and Mombo’s styles combine jazz, rock, folk and blues.

More than 10 wineries, including d’Art Wines, Grand Amis, Harmony Wynelands and Klinker Brick, will be pouring wines to taste at the event.

Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at www.winein2water.org, Jessie’s Grove Winery or The Dancing Fox Winery. Jessie’s Grove is located at 1973 W. Turner Road. The Dancing Fox is located at 203 S. School St.

The gates to the concert will open at 4:30 p.m.

“This event is about people coming together and using local wineries and businesses to support an important cause,” Lewis said. “I hope this could become an annual thing.”

Contact reporter Jordan Guinn at jordang@lodinews.com.

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