USA Swimming Foundation and John Wayne Cancer Foundation Join to Educate on Water and Sun Safety

Foundations Come Together To Spread Lifesaving Messages of Water and Sun Safety

Nov 05, 2015, 13:03 ET from John Wayne Cancer Foundation

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. and NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Nov. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The USA Swimming Foundation and the John Wayne Cancer Foundation (JWCF) have joined together in a partnership for a nationwide educational campaign that spreads the life-saving messages of water and sun safety.

The JWCF, with its skin cancer prevention program, Block the Blaze, will combine its resources with the USA Swimming Foundation, which raises funds to support programs that provide reduced or no-cost swim lessons so that every child in America has the opportunity to learn the life-saving skill of swimming. Each organization will cross-promote the key safety information to its audiences through on-site programs, events and collateral materials.

"We can think of no better way to fight cancer than to help prevent it through education," says Ethan Wayne, Chairman, John Wayne Cancer Foundation. "My father loved the water and spent much of his life on the water. He would be proud and excited about our partnership with the USA Swimming Foundation. Our hope is that these two incredible life-saving programs coming together will have a significant impact on the youth."

"Swim lessons save lives, reducing the risk of drowning by 88 percent, and working with the John Wayne Cancer Foundation allows us to share that critical message with an even bigger audience," said Debbie Hesse, Executive Director, USA Swimming Foundation. "Every person can make a difference in a child's life, by communicating the importance of swim lessons and the dangers of sun overexposure and convincing friends and family to take the necessary action to ensure that safety."

Mutual educational sessions promoting the safety that comes from swim lessons through Make a Splash and skin cancer prevention and the dangerous effects of sun damage via "Block the Blaze" will begin in California in 2016 and extend to Hawaii, Texas, Florida, New Jersey and South Carolina in 2017. Included in the partnership will be Block the Blaze participation in the Aqua Zone during the 2016 Olympic Trials – Swimming, in Omaha, Nebraska.

The USA Swimming Foundation provides the opportunity for every child in America to learn to swim – regardless of financial circumstances. Through the 725 Make a Splash local providers across the country, more than 3.8 million children have received the lifesaving skill of swim lessons. The USA Swimming Foundation has granted more than $3.6 million for free and reduced-cost swim lessons.

Block the Blaze is the John Wayne Cancer Foundation's funded youth skin cancer education program that works to eliminate the risks of skin cancer, the most common cancer in the United States. More than 3.6 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer annually. To date, the John Wayne Cancer Foundation has educated over 164,000 youth.

About John Wayne Cancer Foundation

Founded in 1985, the John Wayne Cancer Foundation was created in honor of John Wayne after his family promised to use his name to continue his fight against cancer. The John Wayne Cancer Foundation's mission is to bring courage, strength and grit to the fight against cancer. By funding novel and innovative programs, aligned with the priorities of research, education, awareness and support, JWCF improves cancer patient outcomes and achieves its mission.  Fight cancer with GRIT at

About the 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 the life-saving skill of learn-to-swim, 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

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SOURCE John Wayne Cancer Foundation