Our Beneficiaries

Since Govfest began 13 years ago, we have enjoyed wonderful partnerships with United Way and The Ryan’s Well Foundation.

Our partnerships with these charities ensure that Govfest can make a difference. Through them, the proceeds from Govfest events go to supporting local communities as well as clean drinking water initiatives around the world.

United Way works to better lives by creating support systems for vulnerable community members. Campaigning with United Way, Govfest funds have supported a wide range of local community projects that ensure people have the support they need to be contributing community members themselves.

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The Ryan’s Well Foundation works to provide sustainable access to safe drinking water in some of the poorest developing regions world wide. Together with The Ryan’s Well Foundation, Govfest has raised awareness of the global water crisis. Funds from Govfest events have directly supported a number of specific well building projects in Uganda, Togo, Haiti and other locations.

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Ryan’s Well tribute to Govfest

Over the past 12 years, Govfest events have raised more than $191,000 for the OPS United Way Campaign and Ryan’s Well. Access to clean water is crucial to the health, safety and quality of life in communities. Through Ryan’s well we have helped support clean water projects all over the world. This year, in recognition of our support Ryan’s Well foundation set up a well in our name. Below you can view photos of the Govfest Tribute well in Northern Uganda and see some of the smiling faces we had the pleasure of working with.

Rosemary’s Well

In April 2017, one of our key Govfest Organizers Rosemary Cercone passed away. Rosemary spent 9 years with the Battle of the Bands, working relentlessly to raise money for United Way and Ryan’s Well. Last year, Ryan’s Well supported a “tribute well” for Rosemary in Uganda. You can check out pictures below:

In 2017, a Govfest volunteer visited several Ryan’s Well water project locations. Here is his story:

Paul Burns (right rear) with some of the happy recipients of an OPS-funded well in Uganda.

Govfest, Wells for Africa, and a Tribute

14 August, 2017

By Paul Burns

I had the exciting opportunity to travel to Uganda this summer and see local projects that were supported by OPS Govfest fundraising events.

Over the past 10 years, Govfest events have raised $165,000 for the OPS United Way Campaign and Ryan’s Well, supporting both local communities and projects around the world – including water projects in a number of countries.

While in Uganda, I visited some of the well projects that Govfest has funded. In the northern part of the country, I met Deleo Ocen Moses, who manages a drilling and engineering NGO that partners with Ryan’s Well Foundation. Deleo and his team took us through some districts to six villages to look at well projects that were started between 2015 and 2017.

Each village is a cluster of small family farms, with millet, corn, cassava, tomatoes, sunflowers, and bananas growing in mixed fields on either side of the roadways. Sometimes there is one well per village, or two, or none.

At each of the well sites, we were greeted by the local volunteers who look after the wells. We were greeted enthusiastically despite the language barrier, some with a short speech, a song, or handshakes and hugs. At one site, we saw the water source used prior to the well project – a treacherous pool of milk-coloured water in a ditch!

As we visited, kids showed up to fill jerry cans with water, carrying them on bikes or on their heads. Some come several times a day. Areas without access to well water use untested streams and suffer the associated health problems.

Ryan’s Well announced the completion of its 1,116th well this year, and Govfest funds have been a part of that accomplishment. Now, Ryan’s Well will be supporting a “tribute well” in Uganda for one of our key Govfest organizers, Rosemary Cercone, who passed away in April.

My trip was definitely a time to reflect on the value of volunteers – both those here who support our shows, and those in Uganda who work on the well projects that create life-saving, lasting impacts for so many communities.