“We’re a group of engineers working to make the world a better place,” said Kelcy Adamec, a water resources engineer with HDR and president of the Portland chapter of Engineers Without Borders. “We partner with communities in developing countries.”

About 160 people attended the chapter’s third annual Beer and Wine Tasting fundraiser at Ocean Gateway in Portland.

The ticket sales, raffle and silent auction all raised money for the chapter’s two ongoing projects: a safe and reliable water supply in Dorgbom, Ghana, and a school and sanitation project in Debre Birhan, Ethiopia.

“The hardest part is raising money,” said Bill Fisher of Haley & Aldrich, the gold sponsor for the event.

The Portland, Maine Professionals Chapter pairs up with two chapters from Portland, Oregon to send a team of three or four people every three months to project sites.

“When you go to a developing country, you see huge income disparity and problems that seem insurmountable,” said Adamec, who went to Ghana with EWB in 2010. “It was very eye-opening. You’re doing good for other people, but you’re also growing as a person.”

Nadia Glucksberg, a hydrogeologist with Haley & Aldrich, still had her luggage with her from a trip to the other Portland to coordinate the school project in Ethiopia.

The fundraiser brought in about $9,000, much of which will subsidize volunteer engineers’ flights.

“Two thumbs up. Good cause,” said Eugene Shephard of engineering firm AmecFosterWheeler (which had been known as Amec until the previous day’s merger).

“And it’s a networking opportunity galore,” said Kevin Wacker, treasurer of the EWB student chapter at the University of Southern Maine.

“This is a logical connection, to be amongst people who are working on infrastructure and water quality in developing countries,” said Leann Hanson, who works at Joint Environment Training Coordinating Committee (JETCC) with wastewater and drinking water operators.

Amy Paradysz is a freelance writer based in Scarborough. She can be contacted at:

[email protected]