The Rotary Club of West Jacksonville Raises $33,000 to Support First Coast YMCA’s Safety Around Water Program

Grant to offer free youth swim lessons to more than 250 students 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Rotary Club of West Jacksonville donated $33,000 to the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast in support of its drowning prevention effort by providing free swim lessons to more than 250 local students. As a leader in water safety and swim instruction, the Y’s Safety Around Water curriculum is designed to teach children how to reach the water’s surface if submerged, safely reach the edge of a pool, exit any body of water and respond to unexpected water situations.

With initial funding of $25,000 from the Rotary Club of West Jacksonville and an $8,000 grant from Rotary International, this donation will bring water safety education to eligible students at Holy Rosary Catholic School, St. Pius Catholic School, Pickett Elementary School and Reynolds Lane Elementary School. All swim lessons will take place at the new Winston Family YMCA, which features a 25-yard lap pool with six lanes and a warmer pool for lessons with younger children.

“Swimming is an important life skill in the growth and development of all children. No one should miss the opportunity because of their financial restraints or lack of access to lessons,” said YMCA of Florida’s First Coast President and CEO Eric Mann. “Our partnership with the Rotary Club of West Jacksonville aligns with the city’s initiative to prevent childhood drowning and allows us to impact more youth in the First Coast community.”

The presentation of the donation check will be held at Winston Family YMCA Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 12:30 p.m. during the Rotary Luncheon for Drowning Prevention and Water Safety.

“We recognize that education is the key to drowning prevention, and we are excited to provide life-saving water safety training to hundreds of students,” said the Rotary Club of West Jacksonville president Kathy Cold. “This grant will also create jobs by funding lifeguard-and-swim-instructor training for students.”

Click here for more information about the Safety Around Water program. 

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The Y
For more than 100 years, YMCA of Florida’s First Coast has been providing men, women and children of all ages, and from all walks of life, opportunities to build stronger bonds, live healthy and become more engaged with their communities. Learn more: www.FirstCoastYMCA.org.

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