Presented at our annual Winter Waterland Gala and named in memory of our beloved friend and fierce ambassador, Geoffrey S. Ryder. This award commends an exceptional supporter who goes above and beyond to represent and advocate for Well Aware in both their local community and the global community. The recipient demonstrates an extreme dedication to reducing the issue of water scarcity and growing Well Aware’s clean water work in the world.
The 2021 Geoffrey S. Ryder Ambassador of the Year Award Honors Kahlil McKenzie
Reginald, known as Kahlil, is a football player in his fourth NFL season, currently playing for the Baltimore Ravens. He grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, before moving to Concord, California, during high school, where he then ranked #1 among high school players in the country. Kahlil attended the University of Tennessee, the very school his father and uncle also played football for, and was first drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Kahlil married his wife Alyssa last year, and they had their first son, Tre’ (Reginald Kahlil Mckenzie, III), in March of 2021. When he isn’t playing football or spending time with his family, Kahlil can be found working on his philanthropic endeavors. He joined the Well Aware community last year and has been a tremendous advocate for our work since — spreading awareness through his platform, recruiting new supporters, and raising enough to provide over 1,500 people with clean water in just one year.
“Working with Well Aware is important to me because, ever since I was younger (about 7th grade), I vividly remember learning about how much money we spend on Christmas gifts versus how much money is spent on helping solve world problems. In that moment, that drew me into how to help service and get access to clean water for everyone. Once my wife and I moved to Texas, I was looking for an organization to connect with in a hands-on fashion. That’s when I discovered Well Aware reached out to me. When finding out they were located in Austin, it was a true blessing. Since then, my family and I have tried to do as much as we can to help push Well Awares goals forward and continue to fight for and educate as many as possible to help bring clean water to all those in need.”