Water Buffalos: Stampeding Toward Million-Dollar Milestone

Eleven years ago, a couple of water guys had a crazy idea: why not turn their passion for motorcycle-riding into an opportunity to raise money for charity?

Content Dam Ww Print Articles 2016 07 View2

Eleven years ago, a couple of water guys had a crazy idea: why not turn their passion for motorcycle-riding into an opportunity to raise money for charity? Those guys were Ken Howe, general manager of the Woodinville, Wash., Water District, and Bill Persich of Brown and Caldwell, and the charity was Water For People.

That first year, six Water Buffalos raised $20K. Over the next decade, they inspired many more to join them on their journeys from their home towns to wherever the national AWWA event was being held, raising donations for Water For People along the way. This year was no exception.

“This year was our largest ride ever,” said Alex Hood, Water Buffalo #40 and president of the Ride with Purpose Association. “We had 30 motorcycles ride into the city of Chicago, with 35 total participants on those 30 bikes.”

Content Dam Ww Print Articles 2016 07 View2
The Water Buffalos stop by the WaterWorld booth at AWWA’s ACE event in Chicago.

If you’ve never witnessed the Water Buffalos arrival, I can assure you they make quite an entrance. Whether you’re on a bike or on the sidelines, you can’t help but feel inspired by the passion and commitment of this group of water and wastewater professionals.

According to Hood, the organization has raised more money in 2016 than ever before. “Last year, we were just shy of $100K; this year we’ve already broken $125K so far with still so much more time left to go.”

And the group is approaching another major donation milestone as well. “This year we will break $1M raised over the course of the 11 years,” said Hood.

View1
Alex Hood visits with me during ACE. You can watch the full video interview at WaterWorld.com.

New this year, the Water Buffalos are selling raffle tickets for a major drawing in the fall. “This year, we’ve got Victory Motorcycles working with us and we’re raffling off a Victory motorcycle,” said Hood. The winner will get to choose one of three Victory motorcycles to take home - and perhaps even decide to become a Water Buffalo themselves!

The drawing will be held on October 8th via a live webcast. Raffle tickets are currently on sale on the Ride with Purpose website (www.RideWithPurpose.org). You can also get tickets at WEFTEC or from your local Water Buffalo at any given conference.

If you want to learn more about this unique organization, please visit their website or Facebook page (Ride with Purpose - the Water Buffalos).

More in Drinking Water