I was recently told that the Rock 4 Water would be an event that would not help Antwerp's needs. On the surface, I can understand that perspective. We are raising money to help an organization, Hope 2 Liberia, on the other side of the world. I wrote this piece to explain two ways that I think the event, combined with the Walk 4 Water, would help our community.
First, it is one of the biggest musical events to ever happen in Antwerp. This event should bring in people from out of town - from Ft. Wayne to Toledo. By doing that, it will bring a lot of money to area businesses as the people will be here for an extended period of time and through two meals. The event is scheduled from 12-7 with two regional acts and two national acts. Our community needs events that will bring out-of-towners to our town.
Antwerp is a economically depressed community. The "Welcome to Paulding County" sign at the edge of my driveway used to say that we were the "most affordable county in America." That's polite code for "dirt poor." The only way we can increase our local economy is to have money from outside of our economy coming into it. Many of the events in Antwerp just get people from Antwerp to participate. We plan such events, so I am not tearing those types of events down. In some cases, those events actually export money away from our economy when those vendors are also out-of-towners. Those are great and necessary community building events, but they do not help the economy. I do believe that this event should help the local economy. It was one of the reasons I chose to do it. It was birthed when I was praying about our local economy and jobs. This event just jumped into my head. We need more events, activities, and businesses that will bring out-of-town money into our town.
Those are two ways that the Rock 4 Water/Walk 4 Water will impact our community.
The larger picture is that this event will also help provide safe drinking water, education, and hope for Liberians who are less fortunate than those of us who live in the most affordable county in America.