Cullen Jones, Water Safety Fair

August 24, 2012 (PRESS RELEASE)

Three hundred kids from the Chicago area will receive a FREE swim lesson at the Washington Park Pool on Saturday, Aug. 25 to learn water safety and basic swimming skills. Additionally during thewater safety fair, Olympian Rowdy Gaines will MC a pep rally and Cullen Jones, who nearly drowned at the age of five, will give a motivational speech. Parents and kids will also be able to visit with exhibitors about swim programs in the Chicago area, first responders and many more.

Parents are encouraged to register their kids for one of two free, beginning swim lessons at

In the metro Chicago area, 10 children have drowned since June 14, according to data collected by doctors at Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. Each year, more than 3,400 people drown in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and more than one in five fatal drowning victims are children younger than 14. In fact, 60-70 percent of African-American and Hispanic children cannot swim, according to a nationalresearch study by USA Swimming and the University of Memphis.

Two-time Olympian Jones, a survivor of a near-drowning incident at age five and the first African-American male to hold a world record in swimming, has joined forces with the USA Swimming Foundation and Phillips 66 to support the USA Swimming Foundation's Make a Splash initiative, aimed at reducing the number of U.S. drownings, particularly among minorityyouth.

The USA Swimming Foundation's Make a Splash water safety initiative works to provide the opportunity for every child in America to learn to swim. More than 1.3M children have taken swimming lessons through the Make a Splash initiative since its inception in 2007. Through its 540 local partner programs, Make a Splash offers free or discounted swimming lessons or water safety education in 47 states.

Make a Splash with Cullen Jones
Water Safety fair
Washington Park Pool
5531 S. King Dr.
Sat., 9am - 12:30pm

9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.Swim fair9:30 - 10 a.m.Kids' learn-to-swim session (Water safety and basic swimming skills)*10:15 a.m. - 11 a.m.Pep rally by three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Rowdy Gaines, U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist Cullen Jones and USA Swimming Foundation11:20 a.m. - 12 p.m.Family learn-to-swim session (Moms and kids focus on water safety and basic swimming skills)**Registration encouraged (see above).

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