A night of fundraising allows individuals to get involved in the global water crisis conversation.

Riding a bike from San Francisco to New York is an unconventional way of raising awareness for the 663 million people around the world that go without clean drinking water. Yet, 13 college students –– known as the Ride for Water team –– are on a mission to do just this.

Although the team knows riding their bikes won’t solely solve the global water crisis, they hope the 3,220 miles covered over the 50-day journey will spur conversation and raise enough money to make a difference.

This cause, however, requires a $20,000 budget in order to cover the basic necessities of the 13 riders such as housing, food, vans and gas. To help raise sufficient funds, the team partnered with APU’s PR Agency and organized the Artist Showcase –– as part of a fundraising process that will continue until the end of the spring semester.

The date of the Artist Showcase was synonymous with World Water Day, March 22, and was held on Trinity Lawn, attracting students who passed by.

But the event did more than just fundraise –– it included everyone in the global water crisis conversation by bringing the APU community together to champion a common goal.

This was possible through various donation processes such as purchasing food, like pizza, and buying from local vendors, who donated a proceed of their earnings to Ride for Water. Vendors sold hand-crafted items such as scrunchies, bath soaps and embroidery.

The Artist Showcase was also full of live musical performances by APU alumnus Sam Denton and senior music and worship major Astyn Turrentine. Colorful blankets rested upon the grass and friends gathered on the lawn to enjoy each other’s company and support Ride for Water.

“It was a super fun event that supported a great cause,” Madison Lucas, a senior art major said. “I wanted to contribute to the cause and happened to get a super cute scrunchie in the process.”

Brittney Nourian, a senior public relations major and vendor at the event, explained that she initially wanted to donate to the team as well but didn’t have enough funds.

“As a college student, it’s kind of hard to donate monetarily, so I figured why not turn my hobby into something that could benefit the team financially,” Nourian said.

Not only did the Artist Showcase allow the APU community and local members of the Azusa area to donate to Ride for Water, but it allowed everyone to be a part of the solution to the global water crisis narrative and witness the passion each rider had.

“I think it’s cool even just hearing about the passion of the riders, and that they are so excited to raise awareness, because the clean water crisis is a thing,” Sara hernandez, an APU alumna said. “The fact that their passion is literally taking them across the country, I think that’s huge.”

Nourian also expressed the dedication she witnessed by expressing the team’s willingness to serve and bring others the basic necessity of clean drinking water.

The event brought in more than $340, according to Morgan Olhiser, senior public relations major. This event was only one part of the team’s fundraising mechanisms. The remainder of the money raised throughout the spring semester will be donated to charity: water. Charity: water will then use this money to build wells in others countries, according to Ally Dodd, senior public relations major and PR Agency member.

The Artist Showcase didn’t just serve as a fundraiser, but also brought Ride for Water and its cause to the forefront. And while the 13 Ride for Water members may be the ones biking across the nation, the Artist Showcase provided a space where all could participate in the movement.