Swim-A-Thon event raises money to help families pay for swim lessons

TAMPA — Several agencies are raising money to help families in Tampa pay for swim lessons for their children.

The Swim-A-Thon is Saturday, July 14 from noon to 4 p.m. It will be held at the Central City Family YMCA at 110 East Palm Avenue in Tampa.

The money raised Saturday will go toward that YMCA's drowning prevention program.

"As a parent, I am just heartbroken for any family that loses a child to (a) drowning," Michael Brown, the executive director of the Central City Family YMCA said.

Brown said they do fundraisers throughout the year. Brown said last year in total their campaign raised enough money to give away more than 1,500 swim lessons to the kids who attend the Central City Family YMCA.

"It's almost inexcusable knowing that we are available, but a lot of people don't know that we are available and that we will provide financial assistance," Brown said.

There are several agencies involved in Saturday's event. The lead agency is the Office of the State Attorney. They are working together with the Office of the Public Defender, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's office, the Tampa Police Department, Tampa Fire Rescue, and the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA.

"It's so easily preventable (to) just teach children how to swim (and to) teach them respect for the water," Nick Wilson, with the Tampa PD dive team, said.

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