Mark Kirwin, founder of Kirfaid.org (Kirwin international relief foundation) came to visit Playa Gigante on behalf of the Ventura, California Rotary club last month. A recognizance mission of sorts, to see how the Ventura Rotary could contribute to the village, Mark was moved by the force of the women’s softball team in Gigante and offered to make a grand contribution of outfitting the team with much needed gear such as mitts, balls, bats and bases.
We made a special trip to Managua to the one sports store (that we’ve ever found) and Mark was able to donate one brand new mitt to every player on the team, including our one lefty who has, out of necessity, learned how to play with a right hander’s mitt. Mark, along with Sweet Water, understands the important role that sports play in the development of the youth as well as team building skills and boosting confidence and self worth in Adults.
Since then, we’ve seen a great improvement in the women’s performance, especially with the new mitts. The old ones were second hand mitts from the men’s team, several years old with worn out leather and missing threading. The ball would often times just fall right through them. We also only had two softballs to practice with, one bat and rice bags for bases. The team was beyond thrilled with the Kirfaid donation and claims they will be number one in the league this year!
The Kirwin International Relief Association was founded by Mark and his family when they were vacationing in Thailand during the 2004 Tsunami. Fortunate to have survived, they jumped into action and began helping the others by buying supplies and preparing relief packages for the survivors who had lost loved ones, homes and livelihoods. When they finally made it home to Ventura, they began fundraising and returned to Thailand in 2005 to help re-build. See www.kirfaid.org for more information.
Become a Sweet Water Ambassador like these awesome folks!
Thank YOU to our awesome Donors for the BALL FIELD!
Yosi Ohayon - New York, NY
Pauline Mefford - Phoenix, AZ
Richard Cowen - Martha's Vineyard, MA
Mike Kramer - New York, NY
Denise Dozah - Casper, WY
Lynne Maher - Aqua, Nicaragua
Bootsie Boddington - Crested Butte, CO
Lindsey Sherman - Iguana, Nicaragua
Mark & Angela Kirwin of Kirfaid.org
Jim Norton - Chesapeake, VA
Sweet·wa·ter [sweet-waw-ter,] –nounIn Latin American coastal towns, known as agua dulce, Sweet water is a local term for fresh water. Fresh water tastes "sweet" compared to salt water. It's rivers are usually the life blood of Latin communities, in which most are built off its fertile banks. Sweet water is the basis for vegetation, growth and life. The Sweet water effect is a representation of movement toward satisfying a hunger of knowledge and good health, an inspirational, positive growth in community, and an improved life for everyone.
Board of Directors
KASSIDY MEFFORD - Photographer, writer, Owner/Operator of Dale Dagger Surf tours Nicaragua, and Sweetwater Founder
PEGGY LOVE - Founder of Full Circle International Relocations Inc., President/ Education Services of Dwellwork, LLC and incredible motivating contributor
DEBRA MEFFORD - Dental Hygienist, Emergency medical technician, beautiful philanthropist and land owner in Nicaragua
DONA KOPOL BONICK - Photographer, gardener, fabulous creator and doer of all things possible
JOHN BONICK - Photographer, painter, and poet with a grand appreciation for fine Nicaraguan cigars
RYAN MAHER - Accomplished freelance painter, eccentric artist, inspirational teacher and storyteller
LYNNE MAHER - Registered Nurse and volunteer with MINSA, devoted scuba diver, traveler and Nicaragua resident with infectious good spirit