Participants of all ages joined the Beaufort County Walk for Water in Bluffton Sept. 17, helping raise more than $77,000 dollars for the Water Mission, a Charleston-based nonprofit serving global communities. WATERED GARDEN MEDIA

Bluffton residents joined a record-setting 689 people from across Beaufort County who “picked up the bucket” on Sept. 17 at the sixth annual Beaufort County Walk for Water. Their combined efforts raised a record $77,326 to help fight the global water crisis, including more than $15,000 raised in Bluffton.

Participants met at Wright Family Park in Bluffton for the event’s first large community walk in three years, while other walkers met at Live Oaks Park in Port Royal. The walkers carried buckets for three miles to symbolize the walk millions of women and children in developing countries make daily to collect water that’s often contaminated.

The event raises money for Water Mission, a Charleston-based Christian engineering organization that builds sustainable safe water solutions in developing countries and disaster areas.

Chris Procida and his wife, Barbara, first-timers walking with Beaufort’s Knights of Columbus, said they were drawn to the event because they’d lived in Asia for 25 years. “We lived in villages and experienced what it’s like to not have water,” Chris Procida said. “You have no idea how lucky and fortunate you are until you see that. It’s a blessing.”

“Every time I get in the shower, I have hot water,” added fellow KofC member Terry Buquet of Beaufort. “So many people in the world don’t have that luxury. I believe in this cause and the people who do it.”

Marcia Lynch of New York was visiting her daughter, Kara, in Beaufort, and both joined the walk for the first time. “It’s a wonderful cause,” Lynch said. “So many people die from water-borne diseases, and it’s women who have to do most of the toting. We take it for granted.”

“What you’re doing here today will change the lives of people for generations,” said Beaufort County Walk for Water chair Robert Lasher to walkers in Port Royal. “It’s so awesome to see the community come together like this.”

For more information or to donate, visit the website at or call 843-769-7395.

Since 2001, Water Mission has used innovative technology and engineering expertise to provide access to safe water for more than seven million people in 57 countries. Water Mission has 400 staff members working around the world in permanent country programs in Africa, Asia, North, South and Central America, and the Caribbean. Charity Navigator has awarded Water Mission its top four-star rating 15 years in a row, a distinction shared by less than 1% of the charities rated by the organization. Learn more at