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December 27, 2018

Foundation Celebrates Its Largest Year by Granting More Than $132,000 to Nearly 70 Programs

SARASOTA, Fla.—The USMS Swimming Saves Lives Foundation will support nearly 70 adult learn-to-swim programs in 2019 by distributing more than $132,000 in grants, furthering the foundation’s work of reducing adult-drowning risk through swimming lessons.

The funding and reach represent the largest year yet for the foundation, which was established as the charitable arm of U.S. Masters Swimming in 2012. The foundation is supported by donations from USMS members and other entities and has awarded nearly $550,000 since its inception.

USMS is the national governing body of Masters Swimming in the U.S.

SSLF grant programs offer swimming lessons to adults at a reduced cost and are most often led by USMS-certified adult learn-to-swim instructors. These instructors have been educated by USMS in the techniques and methods that work best for adults beginning to swim. In 2018, more than 1,000 adults took swim lessons in SSLF programs around the country.

More than a third of adults in the U.S. can’t swim the length of a 25-yard pool, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, putting them at risk of becoming one of the 10 people who drown every day in the U.S. Additionally, research from the USA Swimming Foundation and the University of Memphis shows that there’s only a 19 percent chance of a child learning to swim if the child comes from a nonswimming household. SSLF aims to reduce risks like these by helping to make swimming lessons accessible and effective for as many adults as possible.

“We’re excited to see the growth of these programs and to know we’re saving lives through swimming,” says SSLF board of trustees chair Jay Definis. “When an adult knows how to swim, it affects that person’s entire family. It sets an example for future generations, and we’re proud to play a role in that.”

Programs receiving support in 2019, listed by state:


Swim Fit Alaska/Stingray Masters Swimming (Fairbanks)                                

Top of the World Swimming (Soldotna)                                                              


Memorial Park Natatorium (Jasper)                                                                      

Lakeshore Foundation (Birmingham)                                                                                  


The Joys of Swimming (Bentonville)                                                                                    


Arizona Aquatic Sports Foundation (Mesa)                                                        

Ahwatukee Community Swim & Tennis Center (Phoenix)                               


Embarcadero YMCA (San Francisco)                                                                                    

SilverPeak Performance (Sunland)                                                                        

Swymnut Masters (Novato)                                                                                    

Richmond Swims (Richmond)                                                                                  

Walnut Creek Masters (Walnut Creek)                                                                               

Salvation Army Kroc Center San Diego (San Diego)                                                         

Presidio Community YMCA (San Francisco)                                                                      

Competitive Tri-Swim Masters (Rancho Cucamonga)                                                                    


Loveland Masters Swim Club (Loveland)                                                              

District of Columbia  

C and O Aquatics (Washington, D.C.)                                                                                


YMCA of Delaware (Wilmington)                                                                                          


For Fun, For Fitness, For Life (The Villages)                                                                        

Sarasota Family YMCA (Sarasota)                                                                                       

Sarasota Tsunami Masters (Sarasota)                                                                   

Palm Beach Masters (Jupiter)                                                                                 

YMCA of South Palm Beach County (Boca Raton)                                                            


YMCA of Metro Atlanta (Atlanta)                                                                          

Kennesaw State Univ. Dept. of Sports and Rec. Aquatics Dept. (Kennesaw)            


Salvation Army Kroc Center Coeur d'Alene (Coeur d’Alene)                                          

Sawtooth Masters (Boise)                                                                                        


Saluki Masters Swim Club (Carbondale)                                                               


Zionsville Aquatic Masters/Zionsville Community Schools (Zionsville)        

Indy Aquatic Masters (Indianapolis)                                                                                     


Will to Succeed Foundation/68’s Inside Sports (Overland Park)                                   


Lakeside Masters (Louisville)                                                                                  

Wildcat Masters (Lexington)                                                                                  


Gulf Coast Multi-Sport (Slidell)                                                                               

St. Bernard Swim Club (Mereax)                                                                            


YMCA of Martha's Vineyard (Vineyard Haven)                                                                 

Worcester Area Masters (Worcester)                                                                   

Berkshire Family YMCA/Pittsfield Polar Bears Masters (Pittsfield)                               


YMCA of the Chesapeake (Easton)                                                                        

Hopkins School of Medicine Swim Club (Baltimore)                                                       


YMCA of Southern Maine, Casco Bay branch (Freeport)                                  


Holland Community Aquatic Center (Holland)                                                    


Twin Cities Aquatics Cooperative (Minneapolis)                                                


Bozeman Masters Swim Club (Bozeman)                                                                            

North Carolina 

Orthotic and Prosthetic Activities Foundation (Charlotte)                                         

Gaston Aquatics (Gastonia)                                                                                     

YMCA of Greater Charlotte (Charlotte)                                                                

New York       

Rockland County YMCA (Nyack)                                                          

UB Foundation c/o Nickel City Splash (North Tonawanda)

Long Beach Recreation Center (Long Beach)                                                                    


Sylvania Masters Swim Club (Holland)                                                                  

Bowling Green Swim Club (Bowling Green)                                                                       


Grants Pass Family YMCA (Grants Pass)                                                               

Hood River Valley Parks and Rec District (Hood River)                                   

Faculty-Staff Fitness OSU (Corvallis)                                                                      

South Carolina 

Greenville Splash Masters (Greenville)                                                                 

Grand Strand Masters Swimming (North Myrtle Beach)                                                


YMCA of Metro Chattanooga Downtown YMCA (Chattanooga)                                   


Rockport Community Pool (Rockport)                                                                  

Fort Worth Drowning Prevention Coalition (Fort Worth)                                

Frisco Masters Booster Club (Frisco)                                                                     

Rebekah's Freedom Floaters (Livingston)                                                                           


Queer Utah Aquatic Club (Salt Lake City)                                                             


US Fitness Holdings/Sport & Health (McLean)                                                   

Hampton Family YMCA (Hampton)                                                                                      


Stowe Swimmers Foundation (Stowe)                                                                  

Intrepid Athletics (Rutland)                                                                                     


Fife Aquatic Center (Fife)                                                                                         

YMCA of Greater Seattle-Bellevue Family YMCA (Bellevue)


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