Craig Jones Management Analyst and Susan Rungren Resource Manager for Ventura Water enjoying the films.
by Jennifer Tipton
Originally scheduled for March 22nd, Water Take 1 was postponed to April 12th due to the forecasted rain, an amusing paradox if you ask me, but Ventura Water thoughtfully stated it was “in consideration of our community’s safety”.
Free to the public with RSVP, the event took place at the Ventura Beach Club with about 150 in attendance. Preceding the presentation, attendees lined up for a complementary taco bar catered by “famous taco bar”, while live acoustic music was provided by Jason Ho. Attendance was limited to adults only, each was given a ticket for an (adult) beverage and everyone was sent home with a souvenir Ventura Water glass.
Opposed to last year’s event where over 50 short films were submitted from around the globe, this year Ventura Water chose to honor water heroes from our own community. Water Resource Manager for the City of Ventura, Susan Rungren told me, “it’s totally different this year, more local”.
Deputy Mayor Matt LaVere announced the screening of the three short films Ventura Water put together to honor the recipients of this year’s awards. Each award winner was later presented with a plaque and a $500 gift card.
The first award went to Ventura’s Jim Ackerman, a retired firefighter who received the Community Member Award for his water conservation efforts. Jim uses Ventura Water’s Residential Recycled Water Mobile Reuse Program and it is estimated he has saved over 10,000 gallons of water! He generously chose to give his $500 to charity.
The second award went to the Wyland Foundation, receiving the National Foundation Award. The famous marine life artist, Wyland founded the nonprofit in 1993 and has done numerous paintings to honor ocean life including 100 murals that took 27 years to complete. The Wyland World Water Pledge was created in 2017 to inspire 7.5 billion people for sustainable use of global water resources.
The third award went to Ventura Land Trust receiving the Community Organization Award. Formerly known as Ventura Hillsides Conservancy, this community-based nonprofit was founded in 2003 with the goal of preserving and protecting the land, water, wildlife and scenic beauty of Ventura for us and future generations. This short film told us that volunteers for the Ventura Land Trust successfully replanted 1000 trees that were lost in the Thomas Fires – there was huge applause!
As Ventura Water’s General Manager, Kevin Brown stated, “it’s been an exciting six months since I’ve been on the job!”
And as Ventura Water had promised, at the end of the evening, City of Ventura Fire Chief David Endaya presented Vicki Raven (with United Way of Ventura County), a check from event sponsor contributions to support the Thomas Fire and Flood fund.
The sponsors for the 6th annual Water Take 1 were Corollo Engineers, Nossaman LLP, Hopkins Groundwater Consultants and Kennedy Jenks Consultants.
For more information: www.venturawater.net