From our News Partners at WCBD-TV:
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - Thursday, Scotty Parker, an ambitious 10-year-old from Hanahan, S.C. rode his bike through the gates at Water Missions International, a non-profit that builds water purification systems around the world that give clean water to those without it.
Parker ended his 213 mile trip stepping off his bike to a roaring crowd inside the WMI facility. A group of family, friends and elected officials from the town of Hanahan congratulated him on his journey.
"Every 21 seconds a child dies from water-related disease," said Parker, "I don't know about you, but as a kid who has all the water he wants to drink, shower as long as I want and even clean water in the toilet I use, this made me sad and hurt my heart bad."
Parker started his ride at 9 a.m. Sunday, April 13, in Greenville, S.C. He stopped to attend Palm Sunday Church Service at Simpsonville United Methodist Church then rode on to Clinton, SC where he rested before starting his 52 mile journey to Irmo. On Tuesday, Parker rode approximately the same distance from Irmo to Orangeburg and on Wednesday from Orangeburg to Summerville. The second day of their trip was the hardest he said, "It rained and the wind blew right into my face, but I knew I had to keep going."
At noon on Thursday, Parker arrived at his final destination, Water Missions International located in North Charleston at the Navy Yard. An array of 25 also rode in with him while a crowd of by standers cheer them on.
"At the age of 10, Scotty has done what so many of us wish we could do - he is making a difference in the lives of others," said Rogers Hook VP Volunteer and Investor Partnerships at WMI.
Parker raised $62,951, an amount he gladly wrote on a large check and presented it to the staff and volunteers at WMI. During his fundraiser, an anonymous donor matched $25,000 of the money raised. Parker surpassed his goal of $25,000. His original goal was $50,000, one that his father said he was worried was too ambitious, so he talked him down from it. Now, he says, he will listen to his son and not try to quell his future goals.
Image courtesy of WCBD-TV.