Edina, MN - (June 20, 2014) - Swimmers of all ages and ability levels came together this morning in an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the Largest Simultaneous Swimming Lesson ever conducted. Abbey's Hope, teamed up with other industry leaders around the globe to host the event for the second year in a row and promote Swimming Lesson Saves Lives. 

Three hundred thirty-six kids, families and swim teams joined Jon Foss, Co-founder and Co-CEO of Foss Swim School, at Edina Aquatic Center for a 30-minute swim lesson. The lesson covered entering and exiting the water, breathing in the water, basic swim strokes and the importance of adult supervision near the water. The current record for largest single-venue swimming lesson, 940 participants, was set last year in Phoenix, Arizona.  

“Although we did not break the single-venue world record, I am most certain we helped raise awareness in the community about the importance of swim lessons,” said Katey Taylor, Co-founder and President of Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation. “Learning to swim is not just a life skill, but a life-saving skill.”

Tragically, drowning remains the second leading cause of accidental death for kids ages 1-14 and the leading cause for kids 1-5. Research shows participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children ages 1-4. The Word’s Largest Swimming Lesson was created to help local community aquatic facilities and national, regional and state water safety and drowning prevention organizations work together to tell this important story.

In 2013, Abbey's Hope had 484 children in the pool and globally, more than 35,000 children participated at over 700 locations. Worldwide results for this year's event will be calculated over the next few weeks, but pre-registration numbers indicated participation well surpassed last year. 

To request b-roll footage and sound bites from this year’s event, please contact Sam Carolus.

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 from 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