Edina, MINN- (June 12, 2014) - For the second year in a row, Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation is joining forces with leading water safety organizations around the globe to host the World's Largest Swimming Lesson (WLSL). On Friday, June 20th at 10:00am CST at the Edina Aquatic Center, the Foundation will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest single-venue swim lesson.

Waterparks, pools and aquatic facilities will hold a basic, 30-minute swimming lesson to build awareness and demonstrate the importance of teaching children to swim in order to help prevent drowning. The lesson will cover basic swim strokes, learning how to stay in, on and around water, drain entrapment prevention and the importance of adult supervision when swimming.


Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death among children ages 1-14 and the leading cause of ages 1-5. Formal swim lessons have been shown to reduce the risk of drowning by up to 88% for children ages 1-4. "The World's Largest Swimming Lesson is a great way to spread the message that learning to swim through swimming lesson is the best way to prevent drowning," says Katey Taylor, co-founder and president of Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation. "Yet far too many kids do not receive formal swimming lessons or water safety training. Drowning is completely preventable and the first step in insuring that every child knows how to swim."

In 2013, Abbey's Hope had 484 children in the pool falling just 40 kids short of the world record. In total, more than 35,000 children participated at over 700 locations globally.

When: Friday, June 20th. Lessons start promptly at 10:00 am, check-in & registration begins at 9:30 am.

Where: Edina Aquatic Center, 4300 W. 66th Street, Edina, MN 55435

For more information about the event or to register, visit abbeyshope.org


About Abbey’s Hope:
Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation is a Minnesota nonprofit organization named after Abbey Taylor, the Edina, Minn., 6-year-old who died in 2008 as a result of injuries sustained in an improperly maintained pool drain cover. 
The Foundation’s goal is to: 
  • Promote awareness of and education related to child safety issues, including educating pool owners, operators, inspectors, and the general public about the dangers of pool entrapment, evisceration and drowning and the need for physical inspections of pool equipment.
  • Work with the pool and spa industry to improve the design of its products, packaging and warning labels, and assist in the development of product safety standards related to such products.
  • Identify and provide support and assistance to organizations and programs that help educate parents, children, and pool and spa manufacturers about the prevention of entrapment and traditional forms of drowning.  

Find out more about Abbey’s Hope at http://abbeyshope.org. 

The Dragonfly Story

Excerpted from the eulogy at Abbey Taylor's Celebration of Life Service

Below the surface of a quiet pond lived a colony of water bugs. They were happy, living far from the sun. But they noticed that occasionally, a member of their colony would climb up a lily stalk and disappear from sight, never to return. Where do you suppose she went? wondered a water bug.

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Pool Safety Tips

  • Use the Water Watchdog System to make sure children are always closely supervised in the pool area.

  • Remind kids to stay away from pool and hot tub drains.

  • Never dive into water less than 9 feet deep.

  • Keep gates to the pool area latched.

More water safety tips