On September 27, Shawn Fisher and Jordyn Jackson of Flagship Romance hosted the 3rd annual Clean Water Music Festival. The CWMF consists of the gathering of musicians, local vendors and food trucks at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida to raise money to provide clean drinking water to the people of the Sahel Region.
“We thought if we had a charity benefit that it would shine a huge light on charity: water and it was a no-brainer. The fact that they give 100% of every donation to the field made us super confident,” said Jackson.
Scott Harrison, founder of charity: water, a New York City based 501c3 ensures that all public sector proceeds go toward ending the worldwide water crisis that affects 800 million people.
The vendor’s market and food truck court donated 15-20% of their sales. Fisher recognized that without the generous contributions of his community, the festival would never happen. It’s his music, however, that spurred him into action.
“In folk music throughout the years you had musicians like Bob Dylan who really used his talents to make issues known. That kind of inspired us subconsciously,” said Fisher.
Fisher and Jackson are only two of an enormous following charity: water has established. Virginia Clay matched all donations that charity: water received for the month of September, including the money raised at the Clean Water Music Festival.
Moved by hearing of Clay’s generosity, Winder Hughes of the new social media network Hi-Fi donated $1,000 spontaneously during the festival on top of being a donor contributing 20% of his proceeds for the day.“I felt like it was the least I could do,” Hughes said.
Many attendees were impressed by the event. “The charity is amazing. I love everyone’s friendliness and attitude. It’s so happy and a great family event,” said one patron.
So, what’s the takeaway from an event rooted in community, food, local vendors and crowd-pleasing music? “Awareness of the worldwide water crisis, the feeling of making a difference, how small ‘grassroots’ ideas can grow and do great things,” Jackson said.
Kaitlyn Jankowski, a charity: water representative from New York City agreed and encouraged college students to follow their passions as she did. “People joke that I skip to work in the morning, and some days I do. When you can get up in the morning and brush your teeth and be super pumped to go to work, it’s a really cool feeling. My job is my life and I made it that way. And I love, love, love what I do. Go after it and fight for it,” said Jankowski.