White Bear High School Students Walk for Water

Local high school students raise funds for Ugandan well.
Sydney Peterson (left) and Isabel Birkeland are giving back through walking.

Childhood friends Isabel Birkeland and Sydney Peterson, who attend Mahtomedi High School and White Bear Lake Area High School-North Campus, respectively, have been volunteering since they were 10 years old and have raised $500 for Haiti earthquake and tsunami relief; they’ve also sent money to the World Wildlife Fund. Peterson is a past member of the Ambassadors (she’s currently the president of her school’s student council) and Birkeland is involved in Interact, both programs that do extensive volunteer work in the White Bear community, such as helping out at the White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf. Currently, the girls are working with Patty Hall, the president/founder of H2O for Life, to organize a walk for clean water.

The Walk for Water, which will raise money for a well at the Orapada Primary School in Uganda, is a community-wide event, with a walk starting and ending at West Park, stretching three miles along Lake Avenue. To understand the effort the women and children of this community go through on a daily basis, people participating in the walk are encouraged to bring a gallon of water to carry. (The Ugandan women and children spend an average of eight hours a day transporting water so their families can have clean water to drink.)

If people can’t participate in the walk, they can always donate. The goal amount for the well is $1,500, and the extra donations are going to be used by Birkeland and Peterson to start their own nonprofit.


WHAT: Walk for Water
WHERE: West Park
WHEN: July 16, 9 a.m.
REGISTER: Walkers should RSVP at the website here. Ages 13 and older $20 ($10 for ages 12 and under) in person the day of the walk.