Step up to the Challenge


I would like to dedicate this month’s editorial letter to remembering a true visionary, Ray E. Cross, Water Specialist Emeritus. Cross passed away on Aug. 25, 2006, in Ann Arbor, Mich., at the age of 93.

Cross showed his support of the water industry for more than half a century, but he truly demonstrated his dedication to our industry at his 60th consecutive Water Quality Association (WQA) convention in March 2006 in Chicago. The 1960 president of Water Conditioning Association International (now WQA) offered to match every new dollar contributed to the Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF) for a period of one year, up to $300,000. All money donated as part of the “Ray Cross Challenge” would go toward an endowment that guarantees ongoing water quality research. This money would provide the foundation with a source of funding critical to continuing education and scientific research in the point-of-use and point-of-entry industry.

After announcing the challenge at the convention, Cross stated that he was proud to support and give something back to the industry he had been a part of for so many years: “… I know that money generated from this endowment will benefit the water quality industry and improve water for countless generations.”

Over the years, Cross was a member of 101 different WQA task forces and committees and received countless awards for his hard work and commitment—Award of Merit (1982 and 1996), Lifetime Member Award (1985) and Hall of Fame Award (1998), to name a few. In 2003, Cross was the first recipient of the award he inspired, the Ray E. Cross Award, presented annually to current and former WQA members whose spirit and unwavering commitment have made a notable difference in the water treatment industry.

The WQRF (formerly WQRC) was developed more than 50 years ago to serve as an independent research organization to conduct and fund scientific research related to the water quality improvement industry. Because of Cross’s belief in education, scientific research and the benefits WQRF provides to our industry, as of July 31, 2006, the Ray Cross Challenge has raised more than $74,000, with 217 donors. According to the WQA, significant donations were accepted at the WQA Mid-Year Leadership Conference in September in Park City, Utah, and an update of the current donations and sponsors will be available soon. At the Mid-Year conference, WQA announced that donations to the Ray Cross Challenge would be accepted until April 16, 2007. Additionally, if sponsors commit a pledge to the Challenge Grant Fund, as long as this pledge is paid for through 2009, their pledge will be matched.

I believe that unbiased studies and research are vital to the future of our industry, and as were many, I was very impressed with Cross’s example of philanthropy and support when I first learned about the Ray Cross Challenge.

Cross has left an impression on many and will not be forgotten. With the support of the industry, we can help realize his lifelong dream “to provide something within the industry that would benefit all of mankind.” So, I am urging you to step up to the challenge and be a part of Cross’s dedication and generosity.

Water Quality Products has Moved! Effective Sept. 1, 2006, Water Quality Products has moved to its new location. Please note our new address: 3030 W. Salt Creek Lane, Suite 201 Arlington Heights, IL 60005-5025

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