YMCA to Offer Complimentary Swim Instruction to Prevent the Tragedy of Childhood Drowning

McDonald’s of Central Florida Teams Up With Y to Sponsor Safety Around Water, April 25-28

ORLANDO, FL – With water all around us, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death among Florida children ages 1-14. To help kids stay safe in and around the water this summer, the YMCA of Central Florida is offering complimentary swim instruction to children ages 4 to 11 during SAFETY AROUND WATER, April 25-28, 2016, 5 - 8 p.m.

Introductory lessons will be provided by certified Y swim instructors who will teach basic stroke development, personal safety lessons, and critical water survival skills. Lessons will be offered at no charge to the public at 20 neighborhood YMCA Family Centers across Orange, Osceola, Brevard, Seminole, Lake and Marion counties.

“Each year, the number of Florida children who die from drowning is enough to fill three to four preschool classrooms,” said Rowdy Gaines, YMCA Vice President of Aquatics and a three-time Olympic gold medal swimmer. “Among African-American and Hispanic children, the risk of drowning is even higher and for every child who drowns, many more suffer a permanent disability. Yet the tragedy of drowning is largely preventable when children learn basic water safety techniques.”

“As a mission-based organization, the Y has an incredible history of helping people of all ages and abilities learn how to safely enjoy the water,” Gaines said. “Through Safe Start, the Y’s innovative infant water survival program, even babies as young as six-months-old can learn how to safely survive a fall into the water.”

Rounding out Safety Around Water will be the YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day on Saturday April 30. That’s when Y family centers will be offering free, family-friendly games, activities and resources to keep kids safe, active and learning when the school year ends.

“On behalf of McDonald’s of Central Florida, we are excited to participate in this amazing initiative that benefits our community’s children,” said Ania Nitzsche, Central Florida McDonald’s Owner/Operator. “With the summer season just around the corner, the timing for Safety Around Water week couldn’t be more ideal and we’re glad to partner with the YMCA on this important program.”

In addition to McDonald’s of Central Florida, other Safety Around Water sponsors include the Florida Swimming Pool Association (FSPA), Ron Jon Surf Shop and Melissa Mishoe.

The registration deadline for complimentary instruction is April 20. To register, visit local YMCA Family Centers.

About the YMCA of Central Florida
The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening communities across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion counties and the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day 35,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2015, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across engaged over 235,000 residents and invested $10.2 million in its local communities. The YMCA of Central Florida also provided $5.34 million in Y program and membership assistance to nearly 50,000 children and families, which supported lasting personal and social change.

McDonald’s of Central Florida serves thousands of customers every day from 192 restaurants located in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Brevard, Volusia, Flagler, Marion and Lake counties.  A majority of these locations are independently owned and operated by thirty-eight (38) local businessmen and women.  Follow us on Twitter @McD_CentralFL.

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