EDINA, MINN. – Jan. 19, 2012 – Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation today announces the addition of state Sen. Geoff Michel to its Board of Directors. Sen. Michel was elected in 2002 and is currently in his third term as the District 41 senator.

 “We could not be more pleased to have such a devoted member of the Minnesota community join our board,” said Scott Taylor, chairman of Abbey’s Hope. “As a primary sponsor of the Abigail Taylor Pool and Spa Safety Act, Michel’s dedication to protecting children from injury and death is without question.”

Senator Michel sponsored the Pool and Spa Safety Act in response to Abigail Taylor’s tragic death due to an evisceration/entrapment on a wading pool drain at a public swimming facility. The legislation, the strongest pool state safety law in the country, changed the way pools and spas are built and maintained in Minnesota.

"I am a great admirer of the Taylor family and fully support their Foundation work to make pools and spas safer in Minnesota,” said Michel. “It has been an honor to work with them in the state legislative process and I am excited to continue this work on the Board."

Michel is currently chair of the Jobs and Economic Growth committee, as well as vice chair of the Taxes committee and member of the Rules and Administration committee. He is also a former board member for the Minnesota Children’s Museum and Edina Soccer Club. Senator Michel lives in Edina with his wife and four daughters.

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