COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 6, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The USA Swimming Foundation, in partnership with Phillips 66, will kick off its fifth-annual Make a Splash Tour presented by Phillips 66 in New York City on May 16 – 18. The national tour will include a series of press events, visit to the Empire State Building to light the skyline blue, water safety information sessions and free swimming lessons at local partner pools throughout New York City. The events will feature appearances by these USA Swimming Foundation ambassadors: 2012 Olympic gold medalist Cullen Jones, swimming legend and Olympic gold medalist Rowdy Gaines, and National Team swimmers Lia Neal, Josh Schneider and Jimmy Feigen, among others.
Make a Splash is the national, child-focused water safety initiative of the USA Swimming Foundation. Seventy percent of African American children, 60 percent of Hispanic/Latino children and 40 percent of Caucasian children have little or no swimming abilities. The Make a Splash initiative seeks to change these startling statistics through three key efforts: save lives by teaching children the lifesaving skill of learn-to-swim through its national Local Partner network; raise national awareness of the importance of learning to swim; and bring together a coalition of aquatic industry partners aligned to end drowning in the U.S.
Throughout the summer of 2013, the Make a Splash Tour presented by Phillips 66 will also host town hall style events in various cities across the country, featuring Olympians Jones and Gaines.
"The USA Swimming Foundation is dedicated to saving lives and building champions. We are excited to be on tour again this summer, raising awareness about the importance of learning to swim," said Debbie Hesse, Executive Director of the USA Swimming Foundation. "More than 1.8 million kids have taken swim lessons through our Make a Splash Local Partners to date. We are incredibly grateful to Phillips 66, who has made such a difference nationally in spreading the important message of water safety."
After a near-drowning experience at the age of 5, Olympic gold medalist and Make a Splash spokesperson Jones has gone on to become a dedicated advocate of water safety. "When formal swimming lessons are introduced at a young age, the risk of drowning is reduced by a staggering 88 percent," Jones said. "Swimming is a critical skill for children to learn that can determine the difference between life and death in a matter of seconds. I am so proud to participate in the Make a Splash Tour again this year and work with the USA Swimming Foundation and Phillips 66 to educate parents and caregivers about the resources available in their communities."
Since 1973, Phillips 66's contributions have supported the USA Swimming community through the National Championships and other international competitions, publication of club development materials, as well as additional endeavors. The Make a Splash Tour, which the company has sponsored since the program's inception in 2009, is a natural extension of their dedication to safety.
"Our commitment to safety guides every decision we make," said Kristi DesJarlais, manager, Brand and Community Investments at Phillips 66. "That's why we're proud to once again partner with the USA Swimming Foundation to help build awareness about the importance of learning to swim. By reaching out to parents across the nation, we're helping to improve lives."
There are more than 600 Make a Splash partners across the country. To get connected in your area and for more information, please visit www.makeasplash.org.
"Make a Splash Tour Presented By Phillips 66" in New York City
Events at local area pool partners:
Saturday, May 18th
Imagine Swimming @ Leman Prep School
25 Greenwich Street
swim swim swim I Say
425 W. 123rd Street (between Morningside Ave and Amsterdam Ave)
Children's Aid Society
14 W 118th Street (between 5th St/Lenox Ave)
SwimJim NY #1
725 10th Avenue (between 49/50th Streets)
SwimJim NY #2
808 Columbus Ave (between W 100th/97th Streets)
555 E 90th Street (between York/East End Aves)
St. Mary's Recreation Center (NY City Parks and Rec Facility)
450 Saint Ann's Avenue (between E 145th/146th Streets)
Located in St. Mary's Park
St. John's Park, Recreation Center
1251 Prospect Place (at Troy Ave)
Swim Strong Foundation
3017 89th St (at 30th Ave)
East Elmhurst, NY
Roy Wilkins Recreation Center
177th Street & Baisley Boulevard
Sobering Drowning Statistics:
Approximately 10 people drown every day in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and more than one in five fatal drowning victims are children younger than 14. Only 13 percent of kids who come from a non-swimming household will ever learn to swim, according to a national research study by the USA Swimming Foundation and the University of Memphis. African American children drown at a rate nearly three times higher than their Caucasian peers, the CDC reports.
Drowning is also a silent killer; most young children who drowned in pools were last seen in the home, had been out of sight less than five minutes and were in the care of one or both parents at the time, according to the Present P. Child Drowning study.
About USA Swimming Foundation
The USA Swimming Foundation serves as the philanthropic arm of USA Swimming. Established in 2004, the Foundation works to strengthen the sport by saving lives and building champions—in the pool and in life. Whether we're equipping our children with learn-to-swim skills through our Make a Splash initiative, or providing financial support to our heroes on the U.S. National Team, the USA Swimming Foundation aims to provide the wonderful experience of swimming to kids at all levels across the country. To learn more, visit www.usaswimmingfoundation.org
About Make a Splash
Make a Splash is the national child-focused water safety initiative of the USA Swimming Foundation, which aims to provide the opportunity for every child in America to learn to swim. To date, the Foundation has invested millions of dollars to provide grants to qualified Local Partner learn-to-swim programs, to spread national awareness and to bring together strategic partners to end drowning. To date, more than 1.8 million kids have received the lifesaving gift of swim lessons through our Local Partner network, comprised of more than 600 qualified lesson providers across the nation. To learn more, visit www.makeasplash.org.
About Phillips 66
Built on more than 130 years of experience, Phillips 66 is a growing energy manufacturing and logistics company with high-performing Midstream, Chemicals, Refining, and Marketing and Specialties businesses. This diverse portfolio enables Phillips 66 to capture opportunities in a changing energy landscape. Headquartered in Houston, the company has 13,500 employees who are committed to operating excellence and safety. Phillips 66 had $51 billion of assets as of March 31, 2013. For more information, visit www.phillips66.com or follow us on Twitter @Phillips66Co.
SOURCE USA Swimming Foundation