Benefit concert to raise money for a drill in Africa

ARLINGTON — Reagan Moss is headed to Kenya in July. There she expects to stay in a village where women rise each morning to walk three miles so they can fill 5-gallon buckets with their day’s water supply. Then they walk home with buckets on their heads. Reagan plans to help.

“I’m excited to go. The only other country I’ve visited is Canada,” Reagan said. “I imagine I’ll see life as I never have.”

Before she goes, however, the Arlington High School junior and Everett Community College Running Start student is raising money to help buy a well drill that could make water gathering a little easier for many in the African country.

Reagan, 17, is producing and singing in a benefit concert Friday evening featuring her dad’s classic rock band Hey, Gracie, the Seattle Latin fusion band Manigua, a vocal quartet from Arlington High School and the Haller Middle School choir and marimba band.

Reagan hopes she can get 700 people to attend.

“The more I thought about the problems of water resources in the world, the more I knew I had to do something,” she said. “I’ve been given so much, but what’s the point of it all if you don’t help others?”

Reagan and her family are acquainted with John Renouard, who used to live in Marysville and who in 2010 established a Utah-based nonprofit organization called Water, Health and Opportunity. The organization’s aim is to provide people with clean, potable well water with the help of what he calls the “village drill.”

The lightweight drill is made in Mombasa, Kenya’s second largest city. A village drill bores a 6-inch hole about 250-feet deep with manual labor. The value of a completed well is about $15,000, Renouard said.

“I can’t pay for a whole drill, but I can help,” Reagan said. “Not only does it give people better sources of water and better lives, the drill creates jobs for the people who make it and the people who use it.”

Renouard said he is pleased that Reagan and the Moss family have joined his team.

“Reagan is a dynamo. She is articulate and focused,” Renouard said. “Even more impressive is that she came up with this fundraiser all on her own. She came to us completely out of the blue and offered to help. A lot of people talk about doing something, but it is the rare person who gets it done.”

Reagan said her parents have been key players in getting the concert scheduled. Her mother’s friend Connie McKinley donated the cost of renting the performing arts center. Arlington High School student body officers, Honor Society members and stage crew students have stepped forward to help as well, she said.

Reagan will travel with Renouard’s group to Kenya this summer.

“It’s not a camp, it’s not study abroad, it’s an immersion in another culture,” Renouard said. “What the trip does is build empathy and cultivate a desire to make changes to help others.”

After she graduates next year from Arlington High School and Everett Community College, Reagan would like to attend Brigham Young University where she might study to be a physical therapist.

Her other current volunteer activities include tutoring, working in a thrift store and a food bank, helping with friends’ Eagle Scout projects and performing with her dad’s band in area nursing homes.

“A service-oriented mind set helps guide you into a better place,” Reagan said. “That’s what I want in my life, my community, my church and my career.”

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.

Benefit

“Water for the World” benefit concert for Kenya: 7 p.m. Friday, Byrnes Performing Arts Center at Arlington High School, 18821 Crown Ridge Blvd. The concert is free, but there is a suggested donation of $10 a seat. Online donations can be made at www.wholives.org. The Arlington Latter-day Saints Relief Society plans a bake sale during intermission.

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