NDPA Presents Lighthouse & Community Lifesaver Awards At 12th Annual Symposium in Fort Lauderdale

Community Lifesaver Awards Presented to Nonprofit Foundations, Beach Patrol, Lifeguards, Community Heroes, Parks & Recreation Staff & Weather Channel At the 12th Annual NDPA Symposium, March 13-15 in Fort Lauderdale
NDPA Symposium 2013
NDPA Symposium 2013
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - March 20, 2013 - PRLog -- The National Drowning Prevention Alliance presented 9 awards for outstanding community services during a luncheon ceremony on Friday March 15th at the 12th Annual National Drowning Prevention Symposium, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  The NDPA Annual Drowning Prevention Symposium is the leading national conference devoted to drowning prevention and water safety. This educational event is designed to offer attendees the opportunity to network with advocates and experts in research, products, educational programming, outreach strategies, policy and code, international relations, and with families raising awareness of drowning prevention and water safety.  This year, the theme for the Symposium was “Reaching Out”.  The NDPA Awards ceremony was hosted by the USA Swimming Foundation, with Executive Director Debbie Hesse as the ceremony emcee.

Recipients of the 2013 National Drowning Prevention Alliance Awards are as follows:

NDPA’s 2013 Lighthouse Award:  

Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation:
Tustin CA
The Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation was named the 2013 Lighthouse Award recipient for their leadership role in nationwide awareness of the potential for drowning, enlightening the public on prevention strategies.  The Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation, founded by Johnny Johnson, and his wife Cindy, is viewed as a national advocate for drowning prevention and the Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation is a sustaining partner of the NDPA. The National Drowning Prevention Alliance, in partnership with The Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation and sponsored by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, completed the Safer 3 Early Education Drowning Prevention Program, which uses a comprehensive initiative to dramatically reduce drowning incidents.  The Safer 3 Pre School Curriculum and Safer 3 Swim for Life Challenge touch thousands each year with water safety information.

2013 Community Lifesaver Awards:

Community Lifesaver, Northeast:

CEF Foundation:
Fiskdale, MA
On July 13, 2007, 4 year old Christian Frechette died from drowning at a local town run summer camp in Massachusetts. The CEF Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides life jackets to children at camps, lakes, beaches and city run pools across the state of Massachusetts. Christian’s father, Derek Frechette, works tirelessly as the CEF Foundation strives to save another family from going through this preventable pain.  Christian’s Law, a bill filed on behalf of the grieving family in memory of Christian Frechette who drowned while attending summer camp in Sturbridge, has been signed into law in Boston Massachusetts. www.ceffoundation.org .

Community Lifesaver Midwest:

The Josh Project:
Toledo, OH  
The Josh Project was founded in memory of John-Joshua Butts (Josh) who never had a swimming lesson, could not swim and drowned at the age of 16 on August 6, 2006.  For more than five years the Josh Project has provided affordable swimming lessons and water safety training to children and their families. The Josh Project is a local Make A Splash Partner with USA Swimming Foundation and the Greater Toledo Aquatic Club. Josh’s mother Wanda Butts, founder of The Josh Project (TJP) was recently named a Top Ten CNN Hero by the national Cable News Network (CNN).  To date, the Josh Project has helped more than 1,200 children learn how to swim. www.joshproject.org .

Community Lifesaver West:

Buddy Belshe:
Orange County, CA
Lifeguard Legend Buddy Belshe was a champion swimmer.    Nominated for his lifelong service as an ocean lifeguard, a commitment that spanned 57 years, Buddy saved lives and inspired many. For the lifeguarding community, Belshe was nothing short of an icon, he passed away in December 2012.  Johnny Johnson, Past President of the NDPA accepted the award on behalf of the Belshe family.

Community Lifesaver, South:  

City of Galveston Island Beach Patrol:
 Galveston, TX
The City of Galveston Island Beach Patrol, as well as protecting over a million visitors to the beach and coastal waters, has been providing training, outreach and development of drowning prevention programs, lectures and educational films across Texas and the United States. Galveston Island Beach Patrol has been a leader in water safety reaching over 8,000 students annually in public school systems.   Peter Davis, Chief of the Galveston Island Beach Patrol is an international advocate for drowning prevention, he is using the skills and talents developed through a variety of unique experiences to raise awareness and improve water safety around the world.  www.galvestonislandbeachpatrol.com

2013 Community Heroic Acts Award:

Dylan Smith and Mike McDonnell:
 Queens, NY
During Superstorm Sandy on Oct. 29, 2012, as a 6 ft. surge roared down their block, a fire from a gas line explosion engulfed houses.  Mike McDonnell, and Dylan Smith, a lifeguard, ushered six people to safety with a homemade rope bridge and Smith's surfboard. McDonnell saw that three homes were on fire. One of the gas lines erupted and a ball of cinders came blowing over the house. McDonnell carried four of his neighbors, one by one, on his back to the house next door. As the flames spread, McDonnell said he knew his neighbors all had to get across the street.  In December, tragically, Dylan Smith drowned in a surfing accident in Puerto Rico.  Dylan Smith’s cousins accepted the award on behalf of the Smith Family. Mike McDonnell accepted the award and thanked the NDPA event attendees for their lifesaving work in preventing drowning.

NDPA Media Award:

The Weather Channel
: The first ever NDPA Media Award- was given to The Weather Channel recognizing the significant impact of expertly prepared weather information, evacuation updates and warnings, reporting outreach with safety messages and for their outstanding media efforts during Hurricane Sandy.  By raising the awareness of the potential for drowning and providing water safety information via The Weather Channel an innumerable amount of people were better prepared during Hurricane Sandy. The NDPA also recognizes that The Weather Channel series “Lifeguard” and “Coast Guard” have provided the public with important water safety messages about hypothermia, rip currents, beach and boating safety and drowning prevention through rescues by trained professionals. www.weather.com .

Lifesaver of the Year Award:  

Henry Reyes ISLA President
:  Huntington Beach, CA
The “Lifesaver of the Year” award was presented to Henry Reyes, Chairman and President of the International Surf Lifesaving Association. Henry and all of the potential candidates were nominated for the impact they had on the lives of others in a water-related capacity. The winner was chosen based on votes from the Lifesaver of the Year Facebook page.  As a result Henry received an all-expense paid trip to the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) Symposium where he was presented with the Lifesaver of the Year award. Henry, a Huntington Beach Lifeguard, co-founded ISLA in 2008, with the mission to change the grim realities of drowning.  ISLA is a non-profit organization comprised of volunteer lifesavers and emergency medical personnel dedicated to preventing drowning through local and international training and education. Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional death worldwide. The founders knew that with the knowledge and the resources available to them from their experience, they could build an organization capable of positive change. Starting with volunteer lifeguarding in Nicaragua, in the past four years ISLA has expanded its programs for drowning prevention to areas affected by high drowning rates: Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Macedonia, Mexico, and New Zealand.  ISLA has certified over one-hundred lifeguards, conducted ten lifeguard training courses, performed over two-hundred rescues, and over one-thousand five-hundred preventative actions and medical aids, donated over twelve-thousand dollars of rescue equipment, and awarded over one-thousand dollars to local community youths for scholarships. www.islasurf.org .

NDPA Director’s Choice Award:  

Tinley Park Park District, White Water Canyon;
Tinley Park, IL
For ingenuity used in a media campaign to get the public to attend the White Water Canyon aquatics theme park in Tinley Park, Illinois, the NDPA recognizes the creativity of the aquatics staff in the use of a You Tube video called, “Call Us Definitely”: http://youtu.be/Voxfs44emR8.  

The symposium is sponsored by; The Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation, The USA Swimming Foundation, The United States Swim School Association, D&D Technologies, Clarion Safety Systems, The Independent Pool & Spa Service Association, The Consumer Products Safety Commission, The Lone Star Lifesavers, and ResQMe.  The NDPA Symposium highlights the best-of-the-best in drowning prevention educational programs, strategies, and products for individuals and organizations. Its purpose is to empower attendees so they can replicate successful events and educational activities in their own communities and improve public awareness.  

About The National Drowning Prevention Alliance:  The National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) is a volunteer-driven, non-profit organization. The NDPA’s mission is to prevent drowning and aquatic injuries, by educating, leading, engaging, and supporting the public, its members, chapters, and partners. The NDPA is located at 1 Hall of Fame Drive, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 and online at www.ndpa.org.


Kim Burgess

Executive Director
National Drowning Prevention Alliance
One Hall Of Fame Drive
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316
PH: 954-804-4865

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Tags:Water Safety, Drowning Prevention, Education, NDPA, Swim, USA Swimming Foundation, Cpsc, Weather Channel
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