YMCA Adds Important Additions To Combat Drowning and Promote Safety

Dr. P. Phillips YMCA aquatics enhancements unite neighbors and neighborhoods.

With Florida consistently ranking in the top five states for drowning in children ages 1 to 4, the YMCA of Central Florida has been at the forefront of several initiatives centered around drowning prevention. From youth and adult swim lessons and aquatic classes to specialized drowning prevention programs like Safe Start, Safety Around Water and adaptive aquatics, the Y is a leading community nonprofit resource to help keep our children and adults safe in and around water. 

It’s heartwarming to see neighbors from all across our community come together once they know how to swim confidently and have a fun place to swim. Such communal spaces bring children closer and strengthen the community’s bonds as families gather to share in the joy of swimming.  

With this in mind, the recent $2 million grant from Dr. Phillips Charities in recognition of World Drowning Prevention Day will set capital enhancements in motion to ensure the Dr. P. Phillips YMCA’s aquatics facilities remain vibrant community hubs for recreation, fitness, drowning prevention education and engagement.  

The upcoming improvements will start in the fall, with completion expected in time for summer. Our community will enjoy a new version of the iconic “Red Rocket” slide and enhancements to the zero-entry pool area for children and families, including water features and improvements to the surrounding pool deck. The adjacent lap pool will remain seasonally available during construction to provide continued access to various aquatic activities, including recreational and lap swimming, aquatic classes and swim lessons. Dr. P. Phillips YMCA Executive Director Chris Demetriou is overseeing these enhancements.  

Our partnership with Dr. Phillips Charities has a long history, dating back to 1954. In 1983, Dr. Phillips Charities played a pivotal role in establishing the Dr. P. Phillips YMCA, and they have since supported numerous Y initiatives throughout Central Florida to impact lives for good. Thanks to Dr. Phillips Charities, the Dr. P. Phillips YMCA will remain a beacon for life-saving swim lessons and recreation, and our community will continue growing healthier together. As a cornerstone of water safety and wellness for the Dr. Phillips community, we look forward to welcoming the Dr. Phillips community to experience these new aquatic enhancements in the summer of 2024. 

Kevin Bolding is president and CEO of YMCA of Central Florida

Written by Kevin Bolding

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