If you read this blog with any regularity, then you've been following our blow-by-blow accounts of the battle between tiny Eldred and global giant Nestlé, which cast its beady corporate eye on the wonderfully clean water flowing beneath this picturesque township at the eastern edge of the Pennsylvania Poconos and decided that it wanted their water more than they did. Never mind that taking their water would destroy the community, because it was all about upholding Nestlé's well deserved reputation for rapacious profit making.
In an all too rare modern-day instance of David dispatching Goliath, the good citizens of Eldred sent Nestlé packing after a battle that brought out the best in its citizens while accomplishing the feat of actually making zoning board hearings seem dramatic. Okay, maybe not exactly a Game of Thrones with pointers and topographic maps, but things did get pretty wild after Eldred was knocked on its collective arse, got up and fought back.
Beyond defeating Nestlé, some really good things happened: Good friends became even closer. People who hadn't talked to their neighbors for years started talking to them. They took stock of their community and realized for the first time all over again that they had something truly special, and it was worth going broke, if necessary, to preserve their way of life. The national and then international news media became interested. There were hoagie sales and other fundraisers, and one guy made some nice t-shirts.
But guess what (and I bet you know what): Beating Goliath cost beaucoup bucks, primarily some pretty hefty legal fees even though Eldred's crack legal eagles cut the township and a citizens' group some breaks. (Despite what they say about lawyers, used car salesmen and journalists like myself, some of us are decent folks who know an important cause when they see it.)
The number of visitors here at Kiko's House has gone through the roof whenever I have written about the Eldred-Nestlé smackdown. Although many of you don't have a clue as to where Eldred is and will never get within a thousand miles of the Poconos, the number crunchers at Google Analytics inform me that although you live in places like Texas, California, Norway, India, Australia and even Milwaukee, you have been faithfully following the trials and travails of these good folks. And you obviously care.
Beyond caring and being aware that Nestlé could try to do the same thing to your community, there are a couple of things you can do.
First, a contribution to one of these outfits would be greatly appreciated:
Eldred Future at Post Office Box 631, Kunkletown, PA 18058.
SleepyTownCorporateAmerica at Seed & Spark.
Second, there will be a family-friendly fundraiser on Saturday July 16 featuring Raymond the Amish Comic. Showtime is 8 p.m. at the Kunkletown Fire House.
We have no affiliation, formal or otherwise, with either fundraising group, but can vouch for their sincerity, love of community and willingness to take on the big bad wolf.
IMAGE FROM UNCYCLOMEDIA COMMONS