May 22, 2007

Ray Cross Challenge Brings in Over $700,000 for Water Quality Research

Water quality research received a huge boost from the industry, in answer to a challenge made one year ago by the late Water Specialist Emeritus, Ray E. Cross.

Cross wanted to leave a legacy that would benefit all of mankind through water research. He decided to challenge other water treatment industry members to donate money to the Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF). It was announced at WQA Aquatech USA 2006 that Cross would match every dollar donated, for the period of one year, up to $300,000.

The water quality industry responded, and to date, $427,570 has been contributed as part of the Ray Cross Challenge, with donations made by 377 donors. With Ray’s matching funds, a total of $727,570 will go towards water quality research.

Water Quality Association (WQA) Immediate-Past President Neil J. Desmond, CWS-IV, reported on the Challenge’s progress at the Opening General Session of WQA Aquatech USA 2007 in March.

“You truly answered the call. Contributions, both small and large, came from water industry professionals from all areas of water treatment. One year later, we have met the challenge,” said Desmond. “Your donations have raised [over $400,000] for water quality research - and donations are still coming in.”

Ray’s son, Harry L. Cross, who was in attendance at the event, was honored with WQA’s Honorary Member Award, for all of his and his family’s efforts on behalf of water quality research.

“That brings the lifetime total of funds donated to WQRF to $1,021,976. And that’s something of which we should all be very proud,” Desmond continued.

The money will benefit WQRF in many ways:

  • The endowment fund should provide a steady stream of income for research projects;
  • WQA won’t have to turn to the membership for money each time research is needed;
  • The grant will allow WQRF to initiate some long-range research projects; and
  • The funds will provide for more efficient budgeting, planning, and controlling of projects.

“Ray’s legacy grant to the Water Quality Research Foundation is a wonderful gesture,” said Duane “Doc” Nowlin, PhD a member of the WQRF Board of Directors. “The industry response from dealers, manufacturers, and suppliers has been overwhelming - not only meeting the Challenge Grant, but exceeding the goal by more than 25 percent. This is a sincere tribute to one of our industry’s great pioneers.”

To view the full list of Ray Cross Challenge Grant donors, visit the Water Quality Research Foundation section of the WQA Web site,