Watermill Express Names Finalists of Second Annual Guppy Tank Contest: Makes $2,500 Donation to Make-A-Wish Foundation

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Five Rio Grande Valley Students to Present Business Ideas to Judges for Chance to Win Cash Prizes

MCALLEN, Texas – May 22, 2017 – Watermill Express, the nation’s largest drive-up pure drinking water and ice company, announced today the selection of five finalists for its second annual Guppy Tank Contest, which challenges Rio Grande Valley students to channel their inner entrepreneur. The five finalists will present their business ideas to a set of judges at McAllen’s Inter National Bank board room on Wednesday, May 31, where the winners will also be recognized and celebrated.

The Guppy Tank Contest is a fun take on the popular TV show Shark Tank and is meant to inspire area students 8 to 13 years old to think critically and creatively about business ownership. The panel of judges includes David Aguirre Jr., supervisor and partner at Stars Drive-in Restaurant Corporation; Eloy Cuevas, RGV marketing manager at Watermill Express; Lani Dolifka, president and CEO of Watermill Express; Linda Guerrero Deicla, general manager at KGBT-TV; and Ava Sandlin, ‎executive director of Make-A-Wish Foundation Rio Grande Valley.

Though entries will be evaluated on several criteria including originality, quality of content, creativity, presentation and grammar, no finalist will leave empty-handed. The first-place winner will receive a cash prize of $750 to help launch his or her original business idea. The runner-up will get $350 to use toward his or her business plan, with third-, fourth- and fifth-place finalists receiving $100 toward starting their business ideas. All five students will also receive ten reusable Watermill Express water bottles to share with family and friends.

“We started Watermill Express out of our garage and know what it takes to build a business from nothing,” said Lani Dolifka, CEO and co-founder of Watermill Express. “I am excited to support area youth by encouraging creativity and hard work through our Guppy Tank Contest.”

The 2017 Guppy Tank Contest finalists are listed below along side the titles of their ideas:

  • Gabriela L. Galindo (McAllen, TX) – PipArt
  • Patricia Williams (Mission, TX) – Authentic Diva
  • Catherine Emily Garza (Edinburg, TX) – Kitty’s Kitchen
  • Aron Gamboa (Harlingen, TX) – Finder Prez
  • Joaquin Galindo and Frankie Rodriguez (Harlingen, TX) – Helping Bots

In addition to helping finalists fund their business ideas with cash prizes, Watermill Express donated $5 for each contest entry submitted to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, resulting in a total donation of $2,500. This donation will go toward granting a wish for a child in the Rio Grande Valley.

“Our organization is very fortunate to be surrounded by such generosity,” said Ava Sandlin, ‎executive director of Make-A-Wish Foundation Rio Grande Valley. “It’s companies like Watermill Express that help us make a difference in the lives of terminally ill children and their families.”

A Valley institution for 30 years, Watermill Express has supported the community by donating thousands of gallons of water to organizations such as the Rio Grande Valley Diabetes Association, American Cancer Society, South Texas Multiple Sclerosis Council and more.

Watermill Express is also committed to giving back internationally. As part of the brand’s partnership with World Vision, the two organizations were able to provide more than 100 million gallons of clean drinking water to the developing world in 2016 and plan to do the same this year.

About Watermill Express

Watermill Express is the largest drive-up pure drinking water and ice company in the nation and the green alternative to prepackaged water. Watermill Express customers reuse their own clean containers to reduce pollution from single-use plastic water bottles. The brand’s Waterocks® Ice is now available at select locations. Call 1-800-487-9643 for more information or visit watermillexpress.com.


About Make-A-Wish

Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true has positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illness, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Headquartered in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children’s charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 33,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 34 minutes. It has granted more than 285,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 15,300 in 2016 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at wish.org to learn more.