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In honor of Water Safety Month, the Florida Swims Foundation highlights mission-oriented endeavors that prioritize safe and healthy swim habits. The Foundation, which is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of the Florida Swimming Pool Association (FSPA), will also collaborate with FSPA’s 16 regional chapters to raise awareness and potential funds for Foundation programming.
As Florida leads the country in drowning deaths for children ages 1-4 (per WaterSmartFL), the Foundation’s focus on swimming and water safety practices is both crucial and necessary. Through key initiatives that reach a wide spectrum of community members, the Foundation aims to significantly lessen drowning deaths and empower children and their families to pursue safe swimming practices every day.

2024 Drowning Statistics (per National Drowning Prevention Alliance)

  • 88% of children drown with at least 1 adult present
  • #1 cause of death for children ages 1-4
  • #2 cause of unintentional injury/death for children ages 5-18

Swim Lesson Funding Partnerships
The Florida Swims Foundation is a key partner with several local and national-reaching organizations all inspired to raise funds for life-saving swim lessons in Florida. Along with providing resources and support to each of FSPA’s 16 regional chapters, the Foundation maintains dual partnerships with two national water safety organizations, Step Into SwimTM and Every Child A Swimmer. These collaborations were designed to both increase and expand resource allocation for vetted swim lesson providers throughout the state.

“FSPA and the Florida Swims Foundation go hand in hand when it comes to making the pool industry a better, safer place for everyone,” said Elizabeth McMurray, FSPA Chief Executive Officer. “As we continue our work alongside our valued partners, The Foundation looks forward to collaborating on new and innovative ways to spearhead the water safety movement to children and their families throughout Florida.”

“Swim For Life” License Plate Program
The Foundation launched and maintains the “Swim For Life” Specialty License Plate program, which is now being offered for free to all interested Florida registrants thanks to an anonymous donor. Each license plate sold equates to one swim lesson provided to a child in need each year. The eye-catching Florida specialty plate features a bright blue pool, palm trees and a colorful sunset.

“The ‘Swim For Life’ license plate program is essential to the Foundation’s commitment to teaching children to swim,” said Don Ball, Florida Swims Foundation Board of Trustees President. “Thanks to this incredible gift from our generous donor, we are able to not only expand the reach of that mission, but also make a considerable dent in the goal of eliminating childhood drownings.”

In order for the license plate to go into production, there must be 3,000 pre-orders received by October 1, 2024. The Foundation is more than half of the way to achieving that goal but still requires more support to make this dream a reality. The initial year is paid by a donor, so no payment is required when you sign up; the plate replacement fee and annual $30 fee added to the vehicle registration are the responsibility of the individual.

“Both the Florida Swims Foundation and the Florida Swimming Pool Association are in a unique position to raise awareness of and help prevent childhood drownings,” said McMurray. “We are eternally grateful for the support we have received for the license plate thus far and look forward to continuing to share the importance of swim lessons with our community. We need everyone’s help to make this opportunity for recurring annual funding of swim lessons a reality.”

License plates are available for both personal and business vehicles, including fleets, if they use a standard, non-commercial license plate. All Florida residents are encouraged to take action and help reduce the drowning rate in Florida by signing up for a free plate at

Grand Prize Giveaway for Water Safety Month
Now through May 31, all registrants for the “Swim For Life” license plate will be entered to win a grand prize getaway to Clearwater’s stunning Sandpearl Resort if they refer a friend in their submission. Entries will be earned both per plate registered and per referral made. All entries from now through May 31 will be tallied and one (1) grand prize winner will be pulled at random in early June.

There are several ways that pool consumers and the community-at-large can honor Water Safety Month:

  • Visit and pre-order the FREE* license plate (Remember: personal and company vehicles are both eligible!)
  • Refer a friend during license plate registration to be entered to win a stay at the luxurious Sandpearl Resort in Clearwater!
  • Spread the word about “Swim For Life” on social media by using the hashtag #SwimForLife and tagging @Florida Swims Foundation on Facebook.
  • Make a general gift to the Foundation to help sponsor swim lessons in your area or statewide. More information can be found at

*First year of tag is free. The plate replacement fee and annual $30 plate fee are the responsibility of the individual. 

Interviews with Foundation leadership are available upon request. Please contact Alyssa Holcomb, Marketing Manager, to schedule interviews by e-mailing her at
For more information about the Florida Swims Foundation, please visit