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City of West Palm Beach Named Recipient of 2019 ‘Make a Splash’ Grant
Grant to fund free or reduced-cost swim lessons for children at Warren Hawkins Aquatic Center
WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (March 26, 2019) – The City of West Palm Beach has been named a recipient of an early 2019 Make a Splash Grant awarded by the USA Swimming Foundation. The grant of $5,000 will go toward Warren Hawkins Aquatic Center ’s continued efforts to provide free or reduced-cost swim lessons. The USA Swimming Foundation awarded a total of $502,461 to programs across the country that will provide swim lessons to an estimated 25,000 children.
“The best thing anyone can do to stay safe in and around the water is to learn to swim,” said City of West Palm Beach Parks and Recreation Director Leah Rockwell. “Drowning remains the second-leading cause of injury-related death for children ages 1 – 12 years old. We are very appreciative of this grant from the USA Swimming Foundation, and it will go a long way toward helping us teach our youngest residents how to swim.”
“Thanks to The USA Swimming Foundation we will be able to offer swimming lesson scholarships to an additional 143 children this year.’ Aquatic Center Supervisor Andrew Van Otteren said.  “The grant money will go directly towards giving swimming lesson scholarships to those that cannot afford lessons otherwise.”
The City of West Palm Beach Warren Hawkins Aquatic Center provides hundreds of children and adults the lifesaving gift of swimming every year. The Center, located at 1501 N. Australian Avenue, is an eight-lane, 25-meter facility with two deep water slides, a wading pool, and a splash pad that is accessible from the pool deck and park. The facility is fully accessible and offers programming for all ages and abilities. Some programs include: Learn to Swim, Water Fitness, Swim Team, and American Red Cross classes. The facility provides shaded areas and places for families to gather and take a break from their swimming.
Courses are based on a combination of age, skills and completion of prerequisites and include:
  • Parent and Child Courses: Ages 6 mos. - approx. 3 years;
  • Preschool Courses: Ages 3 - 5;
  • Youth Courses: Ages 6 – 16;
  • Adult Courses: Ages 16 and up.
Registrations for the City’s swimming lessons program open April 1, 2019. Residents may call (561) 804-4961 for information.
“It’s an incredible feeling to know that USA Swimming Foundation funding will be used to create a valuable swimming experience for tens of thousands of children who may not have had the opportunity to learn how to swim,” USA Swimming Foundation Executive Director Debbie Hesse said. “We are thrilled with the depth of this year’s Make a Splash Local Partner applicant pool, and we couldn’t be prouder to support these exciting and lifesaving opportunities for children across the country. We owe a tremendous thank you to our partners and donors, who continue to make a difference.”
The USA Swimming Foundation works to strengthen the sport of swimming by raising funds to support programs that save lives and build champions, in the pool and in life. Since 2007, the USA Swimming Foundation has awarded more than $6.2 million dollars to help fund learn-to-swim programs across the country. To learn more about the USA Swimming Foundation and the Make a Splash initiative, please visit www.usaswimmingfoundation.org/makeasplash.
For information about the City’s learn-to-swim programs, please contact City of West Palm Beach Aquatics Supervisor Andrew Van Otteren at (561) 804-4961.
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