Thursday, May 16, 2019
Very soon, you will receive our 2018 Annual Report in your inbox and I can’t wait for you to see for yourself the great impact you helped us achieve over the past year in Tampa Bay. In keeping with tradition, this is our 7th year publishing a digital annual report. This allows us to deliver information to our donors, members and friends in an efficient and environmentally-friendly manner. As you read about the impact we had this past year, I encourage you to watch the brief compelling videos included throughout the pages to help showcase how the Tampa Y strengthens our community. In the coming days, keep a lookout for the Annual Report where we also pay tribute to the thousands of generous donors, volunteers, staff and community partners who are behind our life-changing work.
I also want to bring attention to National Water Safety Month. Tragically, Hillsborough County experienced eleven childhood drownings last year. Eleven drownings was the highest in the entire state and more than the previous two years combined. Since data shows formal swim lessons cut the risk of drowning by 88 percent, we are partnering with four other YMCA associations to offer free Safety Around Water (SAW) lessons to children throughout the year, thanks to a generous Florida Blue Foundation grant.
From May 28-31, all our Tampa Y family locations are offering the 4-day course to the entire community, beginners and non-swimmers, ages 3-12 years. If you know someone who would benefit, other Ys in Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando, Citrus, Manatee and Sarasota counties are also hosting SAW at different dates throughout the summer. You don’t have to be a Y member to participate in the free program.
In addition to swim lessons, the Y encourages parents to take an active role in water safety. Here are safety tips to practice when in and around the water:
· Supervise all water activities, never leaving a child alone.
· Always keep a phone near the pool to call 911 in case of an emergency.
· Never allow swimming in an unlit pool after dark.
· Keep non-pool toys like wagons and tricycles away from the pool.
· Test your child’s swim skills at the Y absolutely free.
· Add barriers around your pool, keeping all doors and gates locked.
· Remember to remove inflatable toys from the pool when not in use.
· Never permit diving in the shallow end of the pool.
· Make sure all gates & doors to the pool area are self-closing and self-latching.
With water everywhere here in Tampa Bay, let’s work together to keep safety top of mind! Thanks for your vigilance!
President & CEO