A Culture of Remembrance

Published On: February 19, 2024By Categories: Business Management, Editor’s Note

By Thad Plumley

I was taken back recently by something someone said. A man who had worked to get a scholarship endowed in the names of my father-in-law and another individual said he was trying to build a culture of remembrance.

Wow. How beautiful, I thought. And how forward thinking.

We continued to chat after that phrase was said, posed for a photograph that accompanied a press release announcing the endowment, went to lunch, and told stories about my father-in-law and the other honoree for hours.

But I just couldn’t shake those words.

The scholarship is for young people preparing for college who have competed in high school track or cross country, sports that shaped the lives of my father-in-law, and the other person whose name accompanies the scholarship.

Sports not only impacted their lives personally, but professionally. My father-in-law was the meet manager for the state high school track and field championships for years even after he retired from his day job at the state high school athletic association.

One of the stories we heard that day was that after my father-in-law stopped running the state meet, officials had bracelets made with the letters “WWFDD” emblazed on them. They stood for “What would Fred Dafter do?” because that quickly became the go-to when folks ran into difficult situations.

My wife and I looked at each other and cracked up. But we would both also admit that is a sound adage and one we have followed in our lives even though we didn’t have a piece of rubber dangling from our wrists.

I mention all of this because I know you have dedicated your life to providing water to families in your community. Honestly, there is not much more of a noble profession. As simply put, water is life.

With that, I encourage you to get to know the Groundwater Foundation’s Water Well Wish program. Debuting last fall, its motto is “Providing Life’s Basic Need,” and it is doing just that. Knowing there are millions of Americans who don’t have access to clean and safe water, Water Well Wish raises money for new water wells and then uses those funds to have wells constructed for families in need.

Several wells for families have been completed, but the program has already accumulated a waiting list of families in need. That is where I think you come in.

The groundwater industry has given you your livelihood, and for many of you, has done so for multiple generations. Consider donating funds or your time to Water Well Wish.

When you do so, you’ll be creating a culture of remembrance. You’ll be acknowledging the field that has given you your livelihood while also providing a family with healthy water for years to come.


Thad Plumley is the editor of WWJ and the director of publications for the National Ground Water Association. He is currently the secretary for the AM&P Network Associations Council Advisory Board. The AM&P Network is a national association for publishing professionals.. He can be reached at tplumley@ngwa.org, or (800) 551-7379, ext. 1594.

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