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Thankful for H2O

Filmmaker Chris Karel gives thanks during the production cycle for Ripples of Change.

This past week was about giving thanks.  Among the packed houses and rich dishes I thought of my own Ripples of Change, how I’ve evolved over the years.   I thought of the people and events that shaped who I am today.

On Friday, I met a group of 17 H2O alumni ranging from recent high school graduates to a founding member of H2O.   In talking about my film and their experiences I unearthed another layer to this project.    

One alum said, “It really has formed me into the person I am today!”  She told me about volunteering at a Relay for Life event when she was a sophomore in high school.  From that point on, her dream was to work for the American Cancer Society.  Just last spring, her dream was realized.   The American Cancer Society now employs her.  That is a ripple! 

Another alum spoke to me about how H2O is still apart of her life 10 years after she participated.  The H2O spirit lives in her.  In her work and social life she talked about how she feels more connected to people and the community she lives in, because of H2O.  She inspired me as she spoke of responsibility, “H2O teaches kids to be better people!”

As a parent of a sophomore and a 7th Grader, I am thankful. 

I am thankful I live in town that cares for one another. 

I am thankful for the 20 years that my city continues to fund a program that teaches young people how to be decent human beings.

I am thankful for the people whose vocation drives H2O. 

Celia Dorsch, retired director of H2O, I thank you for what you’ve worked so hard to create.  Nora Steele, retired assistant director of H2O, I thank you for working countless hours along with Celia. 

Emmie Hutchinson, current Director of H2O, I thank you for taking the torch from Celia.  I know you’ll do great things. 

Vanessa Lange, current assistant director, I thank you for your effort. 

I hope those involved, or those that want to be involved, figure out a way to sustain the program for another 20 years. 

For those of you following the film’s progress:  The 1st Trailer will be available December 16th! 

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