Alexandria, VA (January 10, 2022) – Today, the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) and its foundation celebrate the donors who made 2021 a record-setting year for Step Into Swim, an initiative committed to safe swim education. The program raised more than $1,000,000 and provided swim lessons to 6,297 children with support from major founding partner Every Child A Swimmer and other industry leaders.
In advancing its Step Into Swim initiative, PHTA continues to collaborate with individuals and donors who have a passion for protecting kids in the water. It is because of these supporters that Step Into Swim had an impactful year. The association proudly recognizes its top 2021 donors, including Bill Kent Family Foundation and Fluidra (Diamond Level); American Pools, AquaCal, Claffey Pools, and Hayward (Platinum Level); and Kiwanis International, Master Pools Guild, and Premier Pools and Spas (Gold Level).
“We are making strides to combat childhood drowning thanks to the generous donors who share in our mission to create more swimmers. Our efforts to expand Step Into Swim would not be possible without their support,” said Rowdy Gaines, three-time Olympic Gold Medalist and Vice President of Partnerships and Development at PHTA. “The aquatics industry has a unique opportunity to come together in the name of safe swim education. Our partners truly delivered on that in 2021.”
In 2021, Step Into Swim raised over $500,000 dollars from the pool and hot tub industry, which will be matched by the PHTA Board of Directors; provided grants to 22 facilities in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas; funded swim lessons for 6,297 children; and formed a coalition of advocates, inclusive of Every Child A Swimmer, International Swimming Hall of Fame, American Swimming Coaches Association, Florida Swimming Pool Association, National Drowning Prevention Alliance, and the United States Swimming Pool Association. The strategic coalition has generated additional dollars and visibility to further promote swimming education.
“I am in awe of how far Step Into Swim has come thanks to the leadership of Rowdy Gaines and our Champions Board, as well as the support from our members and partners,” said Sabeena Hickman, CAE, President and CEO of PHTA. “Everyone plays a special role in helping us mobilize against an important initiative to provide educational resources and access to free swimming lessons. The future is bright as we continue to build upon this momentum in 2022.”
Donors can support Step Into Swim through tiered funding levels, including the Build A Pool, Save A Life Sponsorship where companies can pledge funds based on the number of pools built or maintenance contracts signed each year. 100 percent of funds go directly to Step Into Swim programming. Visit www.StepIntoSwim.org to see a full list of supporters and to learn more about how to get involved.
About Pool & Hot Tub Alliance and Step Into Swim:
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), a non-profit organization with nearly 3,500 members from around the world, was established in 1956 to support, promote, and protect the common interests of the $36.5B pool, hot tub, and spa industry. PHTA provides education, advocacy, standards development, research, and market growth to increase our members’ professionalism, knowledge, and profitability. Additionally, PHTA facilitates the expansion of 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 www.phta.org.
Step Into SwimTM 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 285,000 children with support from community organizations, partners, industry advocates, members and more. For more information, visit www.stepintoswim.org.