In just 10 years, Sarah Evans and Well Aware have performed miracles.
One of several Austin groups that focuses on providing clean water to some of the billion people worldwide without clean water, Well Aware has made this crucial resource available for tens of thousands of Africans, first by digging wells, then by repairing water systems.
Evans, trained as a lawyer, makes it to Kenya about twice a year. She is not alone. She has brought — or sent — along cadres of Texans to help with the cause.
Not inconsequentially, her nonprofit has also has developed a highly effective digital brand and has attracted sharp, discerning followers, witness the crowd at the new Central Public Library for its Rockin' in a Winter Water Land benefit.
Chief among her spokesmen was GloFish co-founder Alan Blake, who might as well have been nominating Evans for a Nobel Prize, so glowing and persuasive was his pitch for Well Aware's collateral benefits and cost-effectiveness. I later chatted with Blake and told him with hesitation that I hadn't heard a better speech from an Austin charity backer in a long time.
Honored this evening were the Patt Christopher Project, which has raised more money for Well Aware than any other group, and Auma Obama, whom I met early in the evening. A community activist, journalist and author, she could not have been more gracious and, yes, she shares some of her more famous half-brother's patented charisma. (That would be former President Barack Obama.)
My stay at the library was blessed by meeting a young lady, Anna Crockett, daughter of GloFish co-founder, Richard Crockett. Turns out she really, really wanted to be in the newspaper. Now, how often do you hear that? Gotta do it.