MINNEAPOLIS – (June 13, 2016) – As part of its mission to prevent childhood drowning incidents, Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation is partnering with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to host the fourth annual World’s Largest Swimming Lesson on Friday, June 24. This free, open-to-the-public event will take place at North Commons Water Park for the first time.

Water safety and education are crucial for every community,” said Abbey’s Hope co-founder and chairman Scott Taylor. “We are proud to partner with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to host this important event and promote water safety. The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson allows us to share our important message with the Twin Cities.”

More than 100 participants are expected. Instructors will cover entering and exiting the water, breathing in the water, basic swim strokes and the importance of adult supervision near the water. The Minneapolis lesson will be one of an estimated 500 in 20 different countries.

All attendees of the lesson will receive free admission to the water park for the day. Pizza and ice cream will be provided, as well.

The Minneapolis Park Board has been helping Minneapolis youth learn to swim for decades,” said Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Superintendent Jayne Miller. “We’re proud to be able to provide staffing and facilities to help this great cause.”

Tragically, drowning is the second-leading cause of unintended, injury-related death for children ages 1-14. Studies show participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent among children ages 1-4.

Teaching proper swimming and water safety techniques can save children’s lives,” said Katey Taylor, co-founder and president of Abbey's Hope. “By taking the right steps now, we can prevent tragedy for years to come.”

Abbey’s Hope World’s Largest Swimming Lesson

    12-12:45 p.m., Friday, June 24 North Commons Water Park, 1701 Golden Valley Rd., Minneapolis MN 55411 Event is free and open to the public Free waterpark admission for the day for all swimming lesson attendees

About Abbey’s Hope:

Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation is a Minnesota nonprofit organization named after Abbey Taylor, the Edina, Minn., 6-year-old who died in 2008 as a result of injuries sustained from an improperly maintained pool drain cover. The foundation’s goals are to promote awareness and education related to child safety issues, work with the pool and spa industry to improve products and standards, and help educate parents, children and pool and spa manufacturers about the prevention of entrapment and traditional forms of drowning.

Find out more about Abbey’s Hope at abbeyshope.org.

About Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is an independent, semi-autonomous body responsible for the Minneapolis park system. With 251 park properties totaling 6,790 acres of land and water, the Park Board provides places and recreation opportunities for all people to gather and engage in activities that promote health, well-being, community and the environment. More than 21 million annual visits are made to the nationally acclaimed park system. Its Grand Rounds Scenic Byway, neighborhood parks, recreation centers and diversified programming have made the park system an important component of what makes Minneapolis a great place to live, play and work. The Minneapolis Park Board is proud to have been named the number one park system in America by the Trust for Public Land for four years in a row. Learn more at http://www.minneapolisparks.org.

The Dragonfly Story

Excerpted from the eulogy at Abbey Taylor's Celebration of Life Service

Below the surface of a quiet pond lived a colony of water bugs. They were happy, living far from the sun. But they noticed that occasionally, a member of their colony would climb up a lily stalk and disappear from sight, never to return. Where do you suppose she went? wondered a water bug.

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Pool Safety Tips

  • Use the Water Watchdog System to make sure children are always closely supervised in the pool area.

  • Remind kids to stay away from pool and hot tub drains.

  • Never dive into water less than 9 feet deep.

  • Keep gates to the pool area latched.

More water safety tips