Stop and Taste the Chocolate: Water Utility Hosts a Sweet Fundraiser

In combination with an open house, the Madison Water Utility hosted a chocolate-and-coffee fundraiser. Now who can resist that?
Stop and Taste the Chocolate: Water Utility Hosts a Sweet Fundraiser
The Madison Water Utility hosted an open house and fundraiser on May 10. Here, a visitor takes a drink from the utility's Water Wagon.

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With robin’s egg blue skies and temps in the 70s, Madison, Wis., was a good place to visit this past weekend. And the Madison Water Utility was an even better place to be — because the utility served up steaming mugs of organic Guatemalan coffee. And bowls brimming with fine chocolates. And cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes. With swirly layers of buttercream frosting. And when you combine those things, well, I just go weak in the knees.

It was all for a good cause, though. In combination with an open house, the utility hosted a chocolate-and-coffee fundraiser for Wisconsin Water for the World, a leg of the Wisconsin Water Association that brings sustainable drinking water systems to rural villages in Guatemala. Visitors from across the city stopped in to enjoy a cup of coffee, taste test the city’s water, watch the utility’s pipe-tapping teams in action and donate a few dollars to a good cause.

If you haven’t already, take a few minutes to read about Wisconsin Water for the World. We posted an article last week about the organization’s efforts and its latest trip to the village of Pujujilito, where team members designed and built a pump house and 10,000-liter tank to capture mountain-spring water. It’s a remarkable organization that includes water employees from across the state. And bonus: the program also offers a classroom element that connects Wisconsin students with Guatemalan students. I talked with program chairman John Anderson, who also works for the Kenosha Water Utility, about how Wisconsin students learn about conditions in other parts of the world via Skype while the team travels. 

Wisconsin’s first women’s pipe-tapping team was also out on Saturday, demonstrating some mad skills. We’ll be seeing more from them in Boston this year, as the team competes at AWWA’s ACE14 Conference.

From door prizes to water taste tests to facility tours, the open house was a fantastic opportunity for city residents to learn about their water system. And really, how can you beat great chocolate, fine coffee and some amazing water utility employees? It was a good weekend.

Has your utility held an open house? If so, what made it successful? What information do you provide to the public? We’d love to hear your experiences.


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