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Florida Swims Foundation and Step Into Swim Announce Renewed Partnership

Sarasota, Fl. (April 22, 2024) – The Florida Swims Foundation and Step Into Swim have joined forces to provide life-saving swim lessons to children throughout Florida.

The Florida Swims Foundation is the non-profit fundraising arm of the Florida Swimming Pool Association (FSPA). Step Into Swim is an initiative of the national Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA). The partnership renews the organizations’ previous collaboration from 2022. During that time, the partners provided more than $150,000 to dozens of Florida swim lesson providers that impacted over 3,000 children throughout the state.

“Both FSPA and the Florida Swims Foundation are thrilled to partner with PHTA and Step Into Swim to make an even larger impact on saving children’s lives through swim lessons,” said Elizabeth McMurray, FSPA Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to collaborating on new and innovative ways to spearhead the water safety movement to children and their families throughout Florida.”

Through the partnership, both organizations will provide funding to swim lesson providers throughout the state of Florida to educate children on water safety. Step Into Swim will provide matching funding to all monies raised by Florida Swims Foundation.

“The partnership between the Florida Swims Foundation and Step Into Swim is extremely meaningful to the pool, spa, and hot tub industry,” said Sabeena Hickman, CAE, PHTA President & CEO. “It highlights the fact that everyone in this industry can and should play a role in water safety and drowning prevention. FSPA is setting an amazing example of leadership in this space, and I am enthusiastic about everything the two organizations will be able to accomplish this year.”

Since 2011, the Florida Swims Foundation has raised more than $525,500 for swim lessons statewide. The money has been distributed throughout FSPA’s 15 active regional chapters.

“Partnering with Step Into Swim is an exciting venture for the Florida Swims Foundation,” said Don Ball, Florida Swims Foundation Board of Trustees President. “Our combined efforts to share free swim lessons with our Florida community-at-large will be a great step toward eliminating child drownings within our state and beyond.”

Step Into Swim raised over $1,000,000 in 2023, which provided grants to more than 100 facilities in 35 states and funded swim lessons for 27,000 children. The initiative has gifted swim lessons to more than 330,000 children since 2012 through YMCAs, Jewish Community Centers, Boys and Girls Clubs, and many more. Step Into Swim is funded through contributions and 100 percent of donations go to learn-to-swim programming.

“As a Floridian, I have a deep understanding of the important role water plays in day-to-day life in the state, and that swim skills are crucial for every child,” said Olympic Gold Medalist Rowdy Gaines, PHTA Vice President of Partnerships & Development, who leads the Step Into Swim initiative. “I am so thankful for the continued support from FSPA. This renewed partnership with the Florida Swims Foundation will truly have a lifesaving impact on children throughout the state who would not otherwise have access to quality swim instruction.”

For more information about the Florida Swims Foundation and to view the website, please visit

For more information about Step Into Swim, please visit


About the Florida Swims Foundation:
The Florida Swims Foundation (formerly known as the Swimming Pool Education and Safety Foundation) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that funds swimming lessons for children throughout the state. The Foundation also provides scholarships for dependents of member companies through the Margaret M. Brown Scholarship Fund.

About the Florida Swimming Pool Association:
The Florida Swimming Pool Association (FSPA) is the leading trade organization dedicated to advancing the pool industry in Florida. FSPA has approximately 750 members statewide across 16 regional chapters. FSPA provides educational programs, industry advocacy, and community engagement opportunities. FSPA members are bound by a code of ethics which requires they uphold high standards of professionalism and service within the pool community.

About Step Into Swim:
Step Into Swim is an initiative of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance and its foundation committed to safe swim education and drowning prevention. By investing in the next generation of swimmers through learn-to-swim programming, the Step Into Swim initiative instills confidence, empowers long-term participation in water activities, touts the positive benefits of water play, and advocates for safe practices. Since its inception in 2012, Step Into Swim has played a role in reducing drowning fatalities and has gifted swim lessons to more than 330,000 children with support from community organizations, partners, industry advocates, members, and more. For more information, visit

About the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance:
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), a non-profit organization with 3,800 members from around the world, was established in 1956 to support, promote, and protect the common interests of the $62B pool, hot tub, and spa industry. PHTA provides education, advocacy, standards development, research, and market growth initiatives to increase our members’ professionalism, knowledge, and profitability. Additionally, PHTA promotes the use of pools by expanding swimming, water safety, and related research and outreach activities aimed at introducing more people to swimming, making swimming environments safer, and keeping pools open to serve communities. For more information, visit

Contact for FSPA/Florida Swims Foundation:
Alyssa Holcomb
Marketing Manager
Florida Swimming Pool Association
941-952-9293 |

Contact for PHTA/Step Into Swim:
Amy Willer
Director, Content & Communications
Pool & Hot Tub Alliance
703-838-0083, ext. 121 |

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