READING, PA (June 26, 2020) – Not a lot of things have brought a smile to my face over the past few weeks. There’s been no joy in watching the agony our nation is going through as it wrestles with a terrible virus and confronts its troubled racial history.

It is impossible, however, for this video not to bring a smile to the face of someone who works at a community foundation. Wacky Water Wednesday is simply the coolest thing ever. The concept is not complicated: The Reading Police Department shuts down a city block, and the Reading Area Water Authority hooks up a sprinkler to one of the city’s fire hydrants, and the kids from the neighborhood come out and run around in the ensuing spray. Still, this isn’t in anybody’s job description — it’s a moment when people went “above and beyond.”

I see a lot in this video… how much fun these kids are having… and how joyful these kids are to be playing in water with their mayor, Eddie Moran. How awesome is that? These kids will always remember that the chief executive of the city took time out from a brutal schedule to splash around in the water with them. And you have to love the Reading Police Officer in full but completely drenched uniform (about halfway through this video that was shot by the Reading Eagle). Think about how that image contrasts with what we’ve seen in Milwaukee, Atlanta, and Louisville. These kids will also always remember the day that a police officer got soaked with them.

Police play in water

It is our community at its very best.

This is a tough summer for everyone, but especially for children. Because of the pandemic, many summer camps and recreation programs are closed or very limited and many pools didn’t open. And remember, these kids have been home since mid-March.

So we give a well-deserved tip of the hat to the Reading Recreation Commission, the Reading Area Water Authority, the City of Reading, and Mayor Eddie Moran. For a little while, these kids got some extra attention and had an absolute blast.

And that should bring smiles to all of our faces.



Kevin K. Murphy, President
Berks County Community Foundation