LOS ANGELES, May 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- On Wednesday, May 11, Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco will launch the U.S. chapter of her foundation with an event at the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica to highlight learning-to-swim and water safety programs for youth. Along with U.S. Olympians Greg Louganis and Dara Torres, the Princess, a former Olympic swimmer, will be on hand with more than 40 local children, ages 8-13 from the Boys & Girls Clubs Saint Anne School branch, to participate in the Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation's Challenge. Santa Monica's Mayor Tony Vazquez will present a Mayoral Proclamation to the Princess to mark the occasion.
"Around the globe, thousands of innocent lives are tragically lost to drowning every year. I am here to share with you how many lives we are saving - and how many more we can save, simply by training the trainers and by focusing on one person, one family, and one community at a time. Having spent years teaching underprivileged children to acquire basic water safety techniques around aquatic environments, I can only say that simple ideas are often the most effective," said Princess Charlene.
In 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated* that drowning claimed the lives of 372,000 people worldwide, which represents 42 people per hour or more than 1000 people per day (latest statistics available) – and that drowning kills more children than tuberculosis or measles. To combat these devastating statistics, Princess Charlene set up her foundation in 2012 which has implemented an international three-tiered mission focusing on learning-to-swim, water safety, and sport and education programs to educate children and young people - regardless of their origins, culture or circumstances – and to arrange amateur sporting competitions which encourage healthy, active lifestyles, the value of friendships and team spirit.
The foundation's US board of directors includes, as president, H.E Maguy Maccario Doyle, Monaco's Ambassador to the United States; Ms. Wallis Annenberg, president and CEO of The Annenberg Foundation; Mr. Greg Louganis, Olympic and world champion diver; and Ms. Dara Torres, Olympic and world champion swimmer.
Ambassador Maccario Doyle said, "It is a privilege, and indeed a pleasure, for me to support Her Serene Highness in the United States in her quest. We will work hard to promote water safety, sport and education programs, with a focus on the young, as well as the precious values of good sportsmanship like respect, teamwork and fair play. These values are central in Princess Charlene's personal ethics. Her dedication to the safety and welfare of children, in particular, around the world is truly admirable and is to be applauded."
"Princess Charlene has a unique and beautiful platform to engage kids with sports, and I'm honored by, and grateful to her, to help promote these values. I'm thrilled to have this opportunity, through the foundation, to help bring such important fundamentals into the lives of young people. Learning to swim can be life-saving, but is also a process that can be fun for the entire family," said Mr. Louganis.
On May 12, the prestigious Blue Ribbon of The Music Center in Los Angeles, will honor the Princess with a special lunch at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in order to present her with a commemorative award in appreciation of her commitment to enriching the lives of children, and to acknowledge and welcome the launch of the US chapter of her foundation. The event entitled "Behind Palace Doors: A Conversation with Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco" will be held under the honorary chairmanship of Wallis Annenberg. Mary Hart, TV personality and former host of Entertainment Tonight will be mistress of ceremonies.
The foundation's US chapter launch is supported by the Annenberg Community Beach House at Santa Monica State Beach, the Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica Saint Anne School branch, Dick and Noelle Wolf, Jacqueline Tesoriero, Renee Pepys Lowe, Larraine Segil, and Straps Unlimited, LLC. www.fondationprincessecharlene.mc and www.PCMFUSA.org and join us on Facebook.
Editor's Note: Photography and videography of this event to be covered exclusively by Getty Images. Captioned images and video footage will be available after the event and by request to press contacts. Interviews, by prior request to press contacts, will be available with Ambassador Maccario Doyle, Ms. Wallis Annenberg, Mr. Greg Louganis and Ms. Dara Torres.
*Copied with permission from the publisher - Fact sheet N°347, April 2014, published by the World Health Organization (who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs347/fr)/
SOURCE Embassy of Monaco