On Thursday, May 5th, The NCH Safe & Healthy Children’s Coalition hosted it’s Drown-Breaking Event commemorating the 3,000th Participant of the SWIM Central program, sponsored by the Naples Children & Education Foundation – Founders of the Naples Winter Wine Festival. The event also served as a Kick-Off to Drowning Prevention Month as well as an opportunity to ratify the Coalition’s newest Call To Action to combat drownings by working cooperatively with community partners to better inform and educate the public including tourists, visitors, and recently relocated residents — a noticeable source of recent drowning victims. Stewie The Duck, Collier’s new mascot for water safety was formally introduced to the audience as well.
The big event featured several community partners, in addition to speeches from the Coalition’s Advisory Board Chair Danna Breeden, Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk, NCH Healthcare System President & CEO Dr. Allen Weiss, Just Against Children Drowning’s Founder Paul DeMello, and the Florida Department of Health in Collier County’s Administrator Stephanie Vick. The City of Naples Aquatic Facility at River Park served as the wonderful host for the day, while children from the NCEF Early Childhood Development Center – Collier Child Care Resources underwent SWIM Central instruction from the River Park staff.