The National Swimming Pool Foundation announces the recipients of the 2017 Step Into Swim campaign, a 10-year initiative to create one million more swimmers. The following organizations will benefit from $78,750 received in donations this year: Angels of America’s Fallen, EVO Swim School, Jewish Community Center Association, New York State Parks, SwimToday, YMCA, and 14 individual learn to swim programs selected by Master Pools Guild members. One hundred percent of donated funds are directed toward learn to swim programs, and NSPF covers all administrative cost.

“Teaching children to swim is the one charitable gift that prevents drowning, improves health and happiness and builds demand for everything around the pool,” NSPF CEO Thomas Lachocki says. Many of the 2017 donors directed their contributions to programs that are impacted in their own towns or within their circle of impact.

“Thankfully, more leaders are getting deep satisfaction at the results of by giving locally,” adds Campaign Chair Dr. Anita Sayed.

Master Pools Guild allocated $10,000 of their donation to support local learn to swim programs selected by MPG members. MPG builders are craftsmen, operating with a strong commitment to high quality, customer service and good business ethics. MPG members have selected the following learn to swim programs as recipients of their gift: Westside YMCA of Tulsa, Okla.; Simi Valley Family YMCA; First Stroke Swim School in Mildura, Australia; Swim Texas Swim School in Canyon Lake, Texas; Nisha Millets Swimming Academy in Bangalore, India; YMCA of Greater Birmingham; Robert Lee YMCA in Vancouver, Canada; Tong Louie YMCA in Surrey, Canada; Maui Family YMCA in Kahului, Hawaii; Health Unlimited Family Fitness & Aquatics Center in Mt. Airy, Md.; Mercy Health & Recreation Center in Amherst, Ohio; SWIMS Foundation in Hollywood, Fla.; LAPS in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.; and Rock Solid in Shreveport, La.

SwimToday, organized by USA Swimming, is receiving a $25,000 SIS grant to promote swimming around the country. SwimToday utilizes positive messaging, such as their 2016 campaign focused on the Olympic Games and the Disney movie “Finding Dory,” and affirms that swimming is the “funnest sport” with posters, club support materials and public service announcements.

The Jewish Community Center Association is receiving $22,000 to benefit children near and dear to their hearts: Twenty JCCs are receiving funding for their Special Needs Swim Programs. Twenty additional JCCs are receiving funding to provide swim lessons to five or more children from Angels of America’s Fallen at each of their locations.

Angels of America’s Fallen is a third-year Step Into Swim recipient and directly funds swimming for the children of fallen military and first responders. AOAF supports the children by engaging them in healthy activities throughout their entire childhood. Last year, two‐year-old Lylah, who was on AOAF’s waiting list for an activity of her choice, fell into the family pool and tragically drowned. Affectionately, “Lessons from Lylah” was initiated to enroll the children of the fallen in learn to swim programs. The American Chemistry Council directed their donation to this program.

Momentum continues to grow with the New York State Parks learn to swim program, supported this year by an announcement from Governor Cuomo. This program started with an industry collaboration five years ago: NSPF, Red Cross and N.Y. State Parks continue to work together, expanding this year to 27 N.Y. State Parks and teaching about 3,000 children each year. Since the program started, the N.Y. Department of Health, Master Pools Guild and NESPA joined the effort with generous donations.

“This is a great example of government, non-profits and industry collaborating and changing thousands of people’s lives for the better,” NSPF Board Chairman Bruce Dunn says.

One of the great outcomes of the Step Into Swim campaign is that more industry leaders are engaging with local water lovers. National Pools of Roanoke donated to two local YMCA’s, the YMCA of Roanoke Valley and YMCA Salem’s “Y” Splash programs. To support their generosity, the campaign made an additional $500 donation to those two facilities. Dunn and his company Mission Pools donate generously in their community. To honor them, the campaign donated $500 to the YMCA of San Diego. Desert-Aire Corporation and architectural firm Purdy and Associates contributed funds directed to Arizona-based EVO Swim School to support their mission of serving parents, children and adults with the very best in aquatic education.

Industry leaders who are invested in their local community and the community of their customers value knowing where their contributions are directed. To support the campaign visit stepintoswim.org.