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Rose Bowl Aquatics Center’s ‘Water Safety for All’ Thursday Community Benefit Focuses Silent Epidemic of Childhood Drowning

Published on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 | 5:27 am

Drowning is the leading cause of death among children under four and the second leading cause of death in children aged 5-14.

As the Pasadena heads into summer months, Rose Bowl Aquatics Center (RBAC) Executive Director Jimmy Francis said it is crucial to ensure that both children and adults have the necessary skills to navigate and survive in water.

“Drowning is preventable and we are here to help,” said Francis.

At the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center, a primary mission is to ensure everyone is “water safe.” Educating the public on water safety is a priority. The Center provides access to swim lessons, water safety education, and lifeguard training year-round both for kids and adults.

This Thursday, May 25, in celebration of National Water Safety Month, the RBAC will host a “Water Safety for All” community benefit which features discussion on water safety. 

“May is National Water Safety Month, while the RBAC prioritizes water safety yearly. In May, we organize a special event to raise awareness of the importance of water safety. It is especially crucial as we head into the summer months,” said Francis.

The event will be held at Polytechnic School’s Garland Auditorium in Pasadena.

Guests will enjoy a cocktail reception, which will feature food from the Paella Project, the only female-owned paella catering company in Los Angeles.

The event will specifically highlight the RBAC’s Water Safety Program in partnership with the Pasadena Unified School District, which is now in its fourth decade, and its lifeguard training program.

According to Francis, the program provides over 1,300 Pasadena third graders with water safety instruction at no cost to their families. The Red Cross lifeguard training program offers financial assistance and education to combat the national lifeguard shortage.  

Guests will also be able to see a screening of the film “Drowning In Silence.” 

The film about a mother who goes on a transformative journey after losing her son to childhood drowning. It addresses the ‘silent epidemic’ of childhood drowning and the impact it has on families.

Its director, Chezik Tsunoda, lost her own child to a tragic drowning accident, and in the documentary, she interviewed other parents who have gone through similar experiences. 

The film also features discussions with pediatricians, water safety advocates, and stakeholders to explore the history and possible solutions to childhood drowning. 

The RBAC’s third grade Water Safety Program is highlighted in the film as a model for promoting water safety and reducing barriers, including racial inequities.

Total proceeds for the sale of the tickets will directly support RBAC’s water safety initiatives that according to the Center’s estimate impacts the lives of over 400,000 local area residents each year. 

To purchase tickets for the upcoming fundraising event, click the link below:

For more information on RBAC’s programs, visit:

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