The donors: Alex Weber, David Custer and Sarah Fillier
The gift: Wheels for Wells
The reason: To help provide clean drinking water in Africa
When nine-year old Alex Weber found out 4,000 children around the world die every day from unsafe drinking water, he wanted to help.
He talked to his parents about selling his toys or baking cookies to raise money for water wells but then decided to do something connected to what he loved: riding his bike. That led to the start of Wheels for Wells, a series of cycling events in Calgary that raises money to pay for clean drinking-water projects mainly in Africa. Over the past six years, the rides, now run across Canada and around the world, have raised $180,000 in total and helped 100,000 people get access to clean water. The organization is now run by David Custer and his partner, Sara Fillier, who got involved as participants and took over running it after Alex and his family moved from Calgary to Indonesia two years ago.
This weekend, Mr. Custer is leading a group of seven riders on a five-day ride from Vancouver to Calgary to raise money for Wheels for Wells. The riders won't be carrying water and instead will rely on finding water along the way. That's to illustrate how easy it is to have access to clean water in Canada, said Mr. Custer, a triathlete and massage therapist who lives in Calgary.
"Alex wanted to dream big and he wants everybody in the world to eventually have safe drinking water," said Mr. Custer. "He's certainly challenged me to dream big."