Iraq Water Project Committee Member, Lee Vander Laan, provided this update on the Project in January. We look forward to getting updates soon. As you know, the Iraq Water Project has been the sole recipient of funds raised at VFP 104-sponsored Lennon Nights.

“Thanks, Art.  Greetings to those in the Indiana Chapter, Gary May, Larry Miller, and Bart Lindenschmidt.  I am acquainted with Gary May from the Boston 2004 Convention, where I was co-chair and Gary led a workshop.  (Gary, it was good to see you in St. Paul last year).

“The Iraq Water Project, of which I am a committee member and website guru, is undergoing a re-structuring and major website rebuild, in hopes of supporting additional projects and a VFP team visit in the near future.  IWP has been very grateful to your members for your frequent contributions from your concert proceeds.  We hope it can continue.

“I am friends with an Iraqi family in Lowell, Mass, who settled there about ten years ago, as refugees from the war zone.  Thaer Alhumadien has agreed to shepherd a visit to Iraq with our IWP project.  His family home is in Karballah, about one hour from nearby Najaf, and a few hours from Nassiriyah, home to several of our supported water filtration projects in a clinic and several schools.  Our “team” on the ground is based there and travel to Bagdhad frequently to service units located there.

“Our mission would be to inspect and inquire about these installations, and others, and understand, if we can, how future assistance could be rendered.  We understand the importance of servicing existing units, but have often tabled requests for additional units based on limited funds.

“John Grant and Frank Corcoran from Philly, have agreed to accompanying Thaer and myself on the trip, perhaps for a week or ten days, where we would be safely guided to installations and personal meetings with installers and recipients of the water filtration units.  We are raising travel expenses separately from the project, with the hope that donors to the IWP project will see their money going to the intended purpose of helping Iraqis cope with the challenges of providing clean drinking water to clinics, schools and hospitals.

“This is coming together with the new website, which will enhance future interest and contributions for the cause.  I expect the new website to be ready in a few weeks, and will inform you soon about that.  Our trip, should it happen (and I expect it to), is penciled in for April or May this year.  We will accept donations for that as well, but emphasize that contributions to IWP will continue to go for enhancements, new installations, repairs and maintenance, benefiting the Iraqi people.

“We look forward to your continued support for the project. 


--Lee Vander Laan, IWP Committee

Samantha Smith Chapter 45

Essex, Massachusetts”

Gary MayComment