Earlier this week, the City of Lake Wales proclaimed the month of May as Water Safety Month. Rotary on the Ridge member, Sarah Irvine, accepted the Proclamation on behalf of the Rotary Club.
WHEREAS, swimming and aquatic-related activities play a vital role in maintaining good physical and mental health, as well as enhancing quality of life; and
WHEREAS, the greater Lake Wales area, Polk County and Florida are blessed with many swimming pools and natural bodies of water; and
WHEREAS, nationally an estimated 11 people die each day from unintentional drowning, and on average two of them are under age 14; and
WHEREAS, drowning is responsible for more deaths among children ages one to four than any other cause except birth defects; and
WHEREAS, for every child who dies from drowning, another five receive care for nonfatal submersion injuries; and
WHEREAS, lack of swimming skills is an especially significant problem for children in lower-income and minority families; and
WHEREAS, water safety education plays a crucial part in preventing drownings and recreational water- related injuries; and
WHEREAS, Rotary on the Ridge, a regional service club that meets in Lake Wales, is committed to presenting the Josh the Baby Otter water safety initiative to young children throughout the area, impressing upon them the importance of learning to float, swim and have an adult present anytime they are near water; and
WHEREAS, Rotary on the Ridge is committed to partnering with the City of Lake Wales and other community groups to support the availability of no cost swimming lessons to area children.
NOW, THEREFORE, the City of Lake Wales wishes to join other organizations in communicating the importance of swim lessons and other activities that prevent drowning by declaring May as Water Safety Month and encouraging individuals and organizations throughout Lake Wales to support these initiatives.