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Accomplishments

18

Spring

Abbey’s Hope, through its membership in Families United Against Drowning, receives the National Drowning Prevention Alliance’s national award for its contribution to water safety and drowning prevention.

17

Summer

Abbey’s Hope joins the United States Senate in Washington DC to recognize and celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act. The Taylors are recognized by several members of Congress including Abbey’s Hope Champion Senator Amy Klobuchar for their contribution throughout the years in water safety and drowning prevention. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission announces that since the passage of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act there has not been a single death by entrapment in a public pool anywhere in the country. Abbey’s Hope, and many other stakeholders are honored and recognized for this achievement. Abbey’s Hope continues to be the “go to” experts on water safety and drowning prevention for many national television and radio outlets, including The NBC Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, National Public Radio, Access Hollywood, among many others.

16

Summer/Winter

Abbey’s Hope debuts new PSA, “No One is Watching” focusing on drowning prevention and our Water Watchdog Campaign. The award-winning PSA has been viewed over 2 million times via TV and social media outlets. Abbey’s Hope Executive Director, Alan Korn, is recognized by the Pool & Spa News as one of the “top ten’ most powerful leaders in the pool and spa industry.

2015

SUMMER

Abbey’s Hope launched its extremely popular Water Watchdog Campaign and has distributed over 20,000 watchdog tags nationwide.

2014

May

Abbey’s Hope debuts its new educational piece - Water Watchdog Poster which is displayed at pools and aquatic facilities around the country. Over 2,000 posters have been distributed nationwide and are still in use today.

 

July 

Abbey’s Hope joins the National Drowning Prevention Alliance Board of Directors. The NDPA is the largest and most prestigious drowning prevention and pool safety organization in the country.


Fall 

Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation’s annual charity golf tournament cracks the Minneapolis Business Journal’s top 20 biggest and most profitable golf charity events.


Winter

Abbey’s Hope joins Families United Against Drowning as a founding member and has been a leader within this organization since its inception.

2013

April

Abbey's Hope Founders, Katey & Scott Taylor, receive the prestigious National Water Safety Congress Leadership Award recognizing the Foundation's good works.


June 18

Abbey's Hope participates for the first time in the Guinness Book of World Records World's Largest Swim Lesson and conducts largest single venue event in the Midwest. The Foundation continues to participate in this annual worldwide event.

2012

April

Abbey’s Hope produces its first television & radio public service announcement that warns parents about the dangers of pool and spa entrapment. The PSA played through Minnesota and nationwide. See the PSA here.


November

Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announces a national partnership with Abbey's Hope to combat drowning and entrapment. Abbey’s Hope joins the Pool Safely Campaign as a founding member.

2010

may

Present Abbey’s Hope begins its 10-year partnership the YMCA Water Safety Program, an outreach program that teaches basic water safety to the children of all ages within the community who do not have access to swimming lessons but are surrounded by water in apartment complexes, lakes and rivers. To date, Abbey’s Hope, has contributed more than $290,000 to the YMCA to fund the swimming lessons, which have taught more than 13,000 kids to swim.

2008

May 22

Minnesota Governor Pawlenty signs into law, the "Abigail Taylor Pool Safety Act," which establishes safety standards for new and existing public pools and requires specific construction and daily safety inspections.


June 23

Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation is officially formed as a nonprofit organization.

2007

December 19, 2007

President Bush signs the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act into law. The law, which was passed in direct response to Abigail Taylor’s wading pool entrapment, is the first federal legislation ever passed to improve the safety of public pools and spas in the United States. The Taylors and their soon to be formed Foundation were instrumental in crafting and passing the landmark law.


Download the text of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act Here.

THE VGB POOL & SPA SAFETY ACT

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (the “VGB Act”) was signed into law by President George Bush on December 19, 2007, and became effective on December 19, 2008. The VGB Act’s purpose is to prevent both entrapment and eviscerations by swimming pool and spa drains and traditional forms of drowning in swimming pools and spas.


SUMMARY OF THE VGB ACT

VIRGINIA GRAEME BAKER POOL AND SPA SAFETY ACT SUMMARY

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (the “VGB Act”) was signed into law by President George Bush on December 19, 2007, and became effective on December 19, 2008. The VGB Act was named after Virginia Graeme Baker who died at 7 years-old after becoming entrapped on a spa drain due to its powerful suction force. The drains suction was so powerful that it took two adult males to free her from the drain. Unfortunately, she was pulled off the dangerous drain too late. She drowned as a result of the entrapment. Graeme’s mother, Nancy Baker, and her grandfather, former Secretary of State James Baker, along with Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation and many others, worked for several years to help move the law through Congress and eventually to the President’s desk for signature.


The VGB Act’s purpose is to prevent both entrapment and eviscerations by swimming pool and spa drains and traditional forms of drowning in swimming pools and spas. The VGB Act is enforced by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. The law has several requirements that are meant to change the way public pools and spas are built and maintained in the United States:


All public pool and spa drain covers manufactured, distributed, entered into commerce or sold in the marketplace on or after December 19, 2008, must meet a federal consumer product safety standard named ASME/ANSI A112.19.8-2007. Drain covers that meet this federal standard are designed and tested in order to help prevent entrapments from happening;
All public pools and spas must be equipped with a VGB compliant anti-entrapment drain cover;
Pools and spas operating off a single main drain (i.e., pools and spas with one drain), other than an unblockable drain, must also add one or more of the following additional backup options so that protection is provided in the event the anti-entrapment drain cover comes off:


  • a safety vacuum release system commonly referred to as an SVRS, or;
  • a suction-limiting vent system, or;
  • a gravity drainage system, or;
  • an automatic pump shut-off system, or;
  • disable the drain altogether; or
  • any other system determined by the CPSC to be equally effective as the devices or methods listed above. 

In other words, under the VGB Act, each public pool or spa with a single main drain, other than an unblockable drain, must be equipped with one of the listed backup secondary devices or methods. An “unblockable drain” is defined as a drain of any size and shape that a human body cannot sufficiently block to create a suction entrapment hazard (i.e., large drains that can’t be easily covered by a human body).


The VGB Act defines the term “public pool and spa” as a swimming pool or spa that is:
open to the public generally, whether for a fee or free of charge;
open exclusively to:

members of an organization and their guests;
residents of a multi-unit apartment building, apartment complex or other multi-family residential areas;
patrons of a hotel or other public accommodations facility; or
operated by the Federal Government for benefit of members of the Armed Forces or their dependents or employees of any department or agency and their dependents.


**The law does not cover private residence pools and spas (i.e., pools and spas found in backyards). Abbey’s Hope, however, recommends that these private venue pools and spas also follow the requirements of the VGB Act. Entrapments and eviscerations can and have happened in private swimming and bathing facilities also.**


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