The YMCA of South Florida is taking a proactive approach to tackle the issue of child drownings in Florida by hosting the annual Beach Ball 2023, presented by Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. The proceeds from the event will go towards the Y’s Aquatic Financial Assistance program, which provides free swim lessons and water safety instruction to underserved children, teens, families and caregivers. The program has benefitted over 150,000 children in the community since its inception in 2016 and has undoubtedly saved countless lives through its focus on education and prevention. The signature event, themed “Rock with Us!,” starts at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood.
In 2022, Florida had the highest number of child drowning deaths in the U.S., with a total of 93, with Broward and Miami-Dade counties accounting for most cases. Research shows that over 40% of children have limited or no swimming ability, especially within minority communities such as Hispanic/Latino and African American groups (45% and 64%, respectively). For every child that dies from drowning, five others require emergency department care for nonfatal drowning injuries. Preventing such traumatic incidents is possible through formal swimming lessons, which reduce the likelihood of childhood drowning by 88%. Given Florida’s year-round access to numerous water bodies, parents and caregivers must prioritize water safety education and drowning prevention programs for young children.
“The YMCA of South Florida has, and always will be committed to promoting water safety and drowning prevention, especially for children,” Sheryl A. Woods says, YMCA of South Florida president and CEO. “Every child deserves the opportunity to learn to swim. The funds we raise during our annual Beach Ball have a life-changing impact on those we serve. We thank Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and all our generous sponsors for the ongoing support they provide our Y and our water safety programs.”
Nicklaus Children’s Hospital is presenting Beach Ball, along with support from Brown & Brown Insurance Miami-Dade. Other sponsors include Bacardi USA, Delta Air Lines, Miami Heat Charitable Fund, Publix Super Markets Charities, Related Group, and Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, among many others.
Sponsorship packages are available, with the Platinum Plus Sponsor package being the most expensive at $15,000, which includes a private happy hour, dinner and dancing for 10 guests, program book ad, social media posting inclusion, and acknowledgment in all event media. The Platinum Sponsorship package is also available for $10,000, which includes general reception, dinner and dancing for 10 guests, program inclusion, and acknowledgment in all event media and material pre/post event. There are also other sponsorship options available.
For sponsorship opportunities or additional questions, please contact Aimee Fretwell at AFretwell@YMCASouthFlorida.org or 954-334-9622, ext. 1045.