Hilary Swank and The Dow Chemical Company Lend Support for First-Ever Around-the-World Relay to Raise Funds and Global Awareness for Safe Drinking Water Projects
NEW YORK, June 1- Two-time Academy Award-winning actress Hilary Swank today hosted the official kick-off for the inaugural Blue Planet Run at the United Nations. The non-profit Blue Planet Run Foundation is putting on the Run, made possible by the generous support of The Dow Chemical Company, to raise funds and awareness about the lack of safe drinking water in impoverished communities around the globe.
The 2007 Blue Planet Run will circumnavigate the earth’s Northern Hemisphere, passing through 16 countries in 95 days. Events in cities and towns along the route will mark the Run’s arrival, educate local residents about the water crisis and inspire action. The Run concludes in New York City on September 4.
“Lack of safe drinking water is a problem that affects the health and prosperity of entire communities and even nations, but there is hope,” said Jin Zidell, founder and chairman of The Blue Planet Run Foundation. “The only elements needed to solve this problem are awareness and surprisingly little money – $30 dollars is all that is needed to give one person access to clean water for their life.”
More than one billion people are without access to safe drinking water, according to the Water Supply and Sanitation Council. Nearly 2.2 million people, most of them children, die each year due to diseases related to unsafe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene. Water-related illnesses are the single greatest cause of human sickness and death worldwide.
“Dow is honored to be the presenting sponsor of the 2007 Blue Planet Run,” said Andrew Liveris, CEO and Chairman of the Dow Chemical Company. “As a world leader in chemistry, we are uniquely positioned to leverage science and ‘the human element’ to solve some of today’s most pressing challenges. Through initiatives like the Blue Planet Run, we are working to achieve breakthrough solutions that ensure safe, affordable drinking water is available to all.”
The Blue Planet Run Foundation provides practical solutions in rural communities that lack access to clean water. The Foundation has provided funding to water projects in 13 countries that have delivered safe drinking water to 100,000 people. Through the Peer Water Exchange, BPRF’s breakthrough web-based system that taps a worldwide network of water experts to optimize project-planning and funding decisions, 100 percent of individual donations made to BPRF are contributed directly to sustainable water projects in the rural developing world.
“Most of us will never have to worry about access to clean water, but it is a life and death struggle for many people around the world.” said Hilary Swank. “The Blue Planet Run is remarkable because of its unique approach to raising awareness and funds, and I think it is great that companies like Dow are stepping up to help solve this global crisis.”