MINNEAPOLIS (June 9, 2015) – For the seventh straight year, Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation is supporting the YMCA Greater Twin Cities Safety Around the Water program, with a financial donation of $40,000 for the 2015 year. In the previous six years, Abbey’s Hope has donated well over $250,000 in total to the Safety Around the Water program. The program is designed to protect Minnesota children from one of the leading causes of accidental death, drowning.  

Since the establishment of the Safety Around Water program, nearly 15,000 children have learned to be safer in and around the pool. This year alone, the YMCA estimates sending over 4,000 children through the program. The Safety Around Water program is offered to engage and educate parents and their children about the importance of water safety skills in and around water, along with providing the children with water safety and swimming lessons. According to Abbey’s Hope, 70 percent of African American and 60 percent of Hispanic children have never learned to swim, as compared to just 40 percent of Caucasian children. Although fatally drowning is a concern for all people, it is the second leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 1-14. African American children are almost three times more likely to fatally drown, than Caucasian children. Abbey’s Hope looks to join forces with the YMCA to combat these tragic statistics.

"Learning to swim is not only a life skill, but an important life saving skill, said Scott Taylor, co-founder of Abbey’s Hope. “We have seen through our partnership, that this program has had fantastic results. By the end of the classes, 85 percent of the participants could swim.” Due to their increased risk of drowning, the program specifically focuses on reaching out to African American, Hispanic, Hmong, East African and Native American communities.“In many underserved communities, staying safe around water means keeping kids away from water, but water safety and swimming are important life skills in the growth and development of all children,” said Kerry Givens, YMCA vice president of mission advancement. “All children deserve access to water safety resources that can save their lives and Abbey's Hope's generous support helps us reach that goal.” 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