Service Above Self
Building Responsible Youth
Allen Kerr , , , , Dedicated Water Champion . . . . 11/13/28 - 9/25/12
I had met Allen Kerr a couple of weeks before and he was a nice enough guy. He was older than me, but then again not that much older. I ran into him at the Minnetonka Rotary open house. It was a networking event that was for people to come and get an understanding of what Rotary was all about. He shook my hand that night and in thinking about it, he shook my hand every time we met and engaged me in a conversation.
Allen Kerr was talking with somebody that I didn’t know about BioSand Water Filters. I listened for a couple of minutes and went away mingling and networking with the other people in the room. I had a chance to move around the room and got back to Allen, who was again talking, with a couple this time, about BioSand Water Filters. I shook my head for a moment and realized that Allen was like a lot of people, in the fact that he was dedicated and passionate about making a difference in the world to the extent that he could. I realized that he was the champion of BioSand Water Filters in my Minnetonka Rotary Club http://www.minnetonkarotary.org . I started to have an appreciation for the man and the passion I observed, and I smiled as I listened for a couple more minutes as I once again got caught up in his enthusiasm. Although, we take clean water for granted there are some places in the world that have people dying because the water quality is poor. BioSand Water Filters have been shown to remove a significant portion of the things that make people sick. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BioSand_Filter
Many people believe that the battle for oil is done and the next battle will be over water. The battle will be for clean water, fresh water, water to sustain life. I think Allen realized that inside the Minnetonka Rotary, he could make a difference in helping people in another country to get fresh water to help change their lives, one household at a time. In February 2012 Allen went on a trip to the town of La Romana in the Dominican Republic as a member of the Minnetonka Rotary and several other Rotary Clubs in Minnesota District 5950 which partnered with the two local Rotary Clubs in the Dominican Republic …. the La Romana Rotary Club & La Romana Rio Dulce Rotary Club were involved to help as well. And if you search on the internet you will find many United States based rotary clubs that are participating in clean water in the Dominican Republic. I don’t mean to exclude them from these efforts, but to tell you that all their efforts show that water has become important enough to get all of these peoples attention.
Allen Kerr died on September 25th, 2012. In 2011 and 2012, both prior to his death and in charitable contributions in his name Allen Kerr helped to raise $104,000 for BioSand Water Filters, which translates into 907 BioSand Water Filters. Allen didn’t raise all of this money by himself or donate all of it himself, but I can’t help but think his enthusiasm and dedication made a good portion of this happen. Installation of these filters into sugar cane workers homes in La Romana Dominican Republic took place in February 2012 for the first 507 units and the next 400 to follow later in 2012 and early 2013. The funds that were raised paid for the filter systems, shipping and installation costs.
Allen Kerr of Minnetonka has been a member of the Minnetonka Rotary for three years and a Rotarian in Columbus, Georgia for many years prior to moving back to Minnesota. Locally, Allen was also involved as a member in helping to revitalize Minnehaha Creek as it passes through Minnetonka and Hopkins as part of the watershed district. Allen Kerr was a champion for water. Allen Kerr didn’t save the world, but he did his part to save what he could. I am proud to have known Allen Kerr.
Allen Kerr was posthumously presented with the District 5950 "Service Above Self Award"