Woman celebrates retirement with fundraiser for clean water

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RUTLAND, Vt. (WCAX) In a well-manicured neighborhood in Rutland, there's an international effort to take on dirty water.

"It's the second leading death of children under the age of 5," Carolyn Meub said.

It's the headquarters for Pure Water for the World. Their goal is not only increasing access to clean water, but also improving sanitation and hygiene practices.

It's a casual office in the home of Executive Director Carolyn Meub. They have four employees in Rutland and another 36 in places like Haiti and Honduras.

It was started by the Brattleboro Rotary Club 20 years ago. Meub has run the nonprofit for 17 years, but this will be her last.

"It's time to have somebody who has maybe some new fresh ideas to help us get to the next step," Meub said.

There will be no retirement cake but there will be a parachute. Meub will take a leap of faith at the end of the month.

"I thought, what could be scarier than retirement? And I said, 'Ahh! Jumping out of an airplane,'" Meub said.

"When I first got here, Carolyn was talking about possibly jumping out of an airplane because it was on her bucket list and I said, 'Well, Carolyn, if you want to jump out of a plane, I'll jump out of a plane with you,'" said Tracy Adams, Meub's co-worker.

Meub decided to make it a fundraiser for Pure Water with perhaps a sky-high goal to raise $100,000. Fourteen people from the community will take the plunge. Each one is asked to raise $1,000.

Reporter Joe Carroll: So have you raised your thousand?
Tracy Adams: I'm so close! I'm at $843!

Meub is also tapping into some wealthy supporters from around the country. She's about to hit pay dirt.

"Oh! Are you serious? Thank you very much. You made my day," Meub said into the phone.

Joe Carroll: I'd say you did alright?
Carolyn Meub: I did alright!
Joe Carroll: How much?
Carolyn Meub: Five-thousand dollars!

Who knew retirement could be so rewarding?

Click here for more on Carolyn Meub's Jump for Safe Water.