PHTA donates $500K to ‘Step Into Swim’
The Pool & Hot TubAlliance (PHTA) Board of Directors recently committed to donating $500,000 to Step Into Swim, PHTA's drowning prevention initiative. One hundred percent of these funds will go straight to learn-to-swim programs who have applied for Step Into Swim grants in recent years.
The Board of Directors unanimously agreed to make this donation, as part of PHTA's broader commitment to philanthropy and drowning prevention.
Drowning is the number one cause of unintentional death in children ages one to four, and PHTA and Step Into Swim are working to change this statistic.
The funds for this donation will come from PHTA reserves and will be distributed in early summer to ensure more children have access to swim lessons this year.
Olympian Rowdy Gaines, PHTA Vice President of Partnerships & Development, is now spearheading Step Into Swim.
“This action will help save thousands of lives by providing funds directly to many qualified swim lesson providers throughout the country. I know we will make a difference in a lot of young lives and the communities in which they live,' Gaines said.
According to Gaines, drowning figures are already higher this year, due in part to the pandemic.
That is why the PHTA Board of Directors particularly wants to reach children and learn-to-swim programs in underserved areas and give children who normally would not be able to afford it the opportunity to participate in swim lessons.
More than 700 aquatics facilities have requested Step Into Swim grants to help fund their learn-to-swim programs.
Franceen Gonzales, Chairman of the PHTA Board of Directors, said she is grateful to have a strong PHTA board that is fully committed to its mission.
“Our Step Into Swim program is an essential part of our mission and I am proud of our board’s decisive action to seed the work of our Champions Board and to get more people to learn how to swim now that pools are reopening,” Gonzales said.
Step Into Swim has already helped 273,000 people learn to swim.
To learn more about this initiative, visit www.stepintoswim.org.