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Gallup recognized for water conservations efforts

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Wyland Foundation awards car to Battered Families

The Wyland Foundation recognized Gallup Aug. 7 as a winning city for the National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation. The annual challenge is a friendly challenge between cities across the U.S. to see who can be the most water-wise.

The five winning cities included Westminster, California; Tucson, Arizona; Gallup, New Mexico; Dallas, Texas; and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Steve Creech, executive director of the Wayland Foundation, said he was honored to celebrate the efforts of the residents of Gallup for water conservation.

“Residents made a series of pledges to save water at home, in their yards and around the community. Each year, residents around the U.S. made a record breaking 600,000 pledges with commitments that saved three billion gallons of water,” he said.

Cities large and small participate and Creech said the celebration was for residents, leaders and the surrounding communities. Lunch was also provided at the event for attendees, which included city workers, city councilors and county commissioners.

Residents who participated in the challenge will now be entered into a drawing for thousands of dollars of eco-friendly prizes, including a year’s worth of paid utility bills and shopping sprees.

“Today, we have one special prize that your city has earned thanks to water conservation,” Creech said, referring to the new white Toyota compact utility hybrid that was awarded to the Battered Family Services.

Kevin Butt, Toyota Director of Environmental Sustainability, selected Amigo Toyota to provide the vehicle and gave thanks to owner Terry Proffit.

Mayor Jackie McKinney was presented with a certificate for the commitment of the city, which Creech referred to as “water conservation-minded leadership.”

He expressed thanks and recognized the water and utilities department, specifically Dennis Romero and Elizabeth Borrega.

“I’m pretty impressed with how dedicate our citizens were to the idea of what saving water means,” McKinney said.

Willard Eastman, director of Battered Family Services, was overjoyed with the new vehicle, which he said would transport clients.

He introduced his staff and board, expressing appreciation for their hard work and continued dedication.

“Three thousand four hundred forty…that’s how many calls Metro Dispatch got on domestic violence in a 12-month period. I’m hoping that we can alleviate some of those problems by providing transportation with this new vehicle,” Eastman said.

Sponsors for the water conservation challenge included Wyland Foundation, Toyota, National League of Cities, Toro, Water Sense, Conserva Irrigation, U.S. EPA, and Earth Friendly Products.

Information: www.wylandfoundation.org

By Rick Abasta
Sun Correspondent