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Totter for Water aims to raise funds for international sustainability

| Thursday, September 28, 2017

Howard Hall will host its annual signature event, Totter for Water, starting this Thursday at 4 p.m. and running for the next 24 hours.   

Howard residents will teeter-totter on South Quad in order to raise awareness and funds for the organization Engineers Without Borders. The group aims to design sustainable solutions to meet basic human needs.  The proceeds will specifically go towards an effort to build a water well in Sangmelima, Cameroon.

As Howard representatives meet with the current president of Engineers Without Borders and their respective successors every year, they have become loyal partners with the organization. Junior Hannah Scherer, current vice president of Howard, said she strongly believes in Engineers Without Borders and their charitable endeavors.  

“We want to get their name out and make sure people know about the work they are doing,” Scherer said.

Howard Hall residents paint a banner for their signature event, Totter for Water. The event benefits Engineers Without Borders, an organization that works on sustainability issues.Courtesy of Hannah Scherer
Howard Hall residents paint a banner advertising their signature event, the Totter for Water. The event benefits Engineers Without Borders, a group that works on sustainability issues. Proceeds will fund a well in Cameroon.

Howard hopes to raise a total of $4,500 by asking students to teeter-totter for a dollar and to donate money to the Howard Hall Totter for Water gofundme.

“We are having girls reach out to their friends and family, asking them to donate, and we have T-shirts that are being passed out for the next fews days at table tents in the dining halls to get people excited [for the event].”

In order to be sure the teeter-totter never stops moving, Howard women will be assigned half-hour shifts throughout the 24 hours; however, all are welcome and encouraged to join in.

“For safety concerns we have waivers outside by the [teeter-totter], and you just sign your name and the Howard girls who are on it will get off and you can teeter totter for awhile,” Scherer said. “We are going to have food and drinks out there as well, lots of fun music and we’ll probably have someone in the duck costume.”

Throughout the week, Howard will also focus on raising sustainability awareness through different dorm events.

“We have a documentary watch on Wednesday about sustainable water use,” junior Elisabeth Kerns, incoming vice president for the spring semester,  said.  “We just try to bring in sustainability and service and focus on coming together as a Howard community in order to serve the larger community.”

Building community is an important aspect of the event for Howard residents.

“We have had a couple of special masses this week. We had a Grotto Mass last night and a candlelight Mass on Sunday night to get the word out and get people excited.” Scherer said.

In keeping with the united theme of the event, participants paint their handprints and initial their names on the teeter-totter to commemorate their experience.  

While Totter for Water aims to foster a sense of community through service, Howard is bringing a competitive element to the event this year by tallying dorm participation to further inspire people to come and participate.

“Whatever dorm has the highest participation rate will get a $100 worth of food from us.” Scherer said.

Howard residents highly encourage others to come support the cause.

“We really wanted to focus on getting the word out for Totter for this year because we’ve always just loved it,” Scherer said. “It’s such a good event that hasn’t been as notable as some of the other signature events on campus, so we just want to get the word out this year and get as many people to come seesaw,” 

People can teeter-totter at any point during the 24 hour period for however long they please.

“We just want to make sure that people know you don’t have to be in Howard to ride on the totter, any member of the Notre Dame community can,”  Kerns said.  “Bring your family, your siblings, your professors; anyone can totter.”

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About Serena Zacharias

Serena is a member of the class of 2021 majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior and minoring in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. She hails from the great cheese state of Wisconsin and is a former ND News Editor for The Observer.

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