Staff Report

In Hillsborough County, drowning is the number one cause of accidental death among children ages 1-4 years old. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates each year about 300 children younger than age 5 drown in swimming pools and spas and more than 3,000 that age go to hospital emergency rooms due to non-fatal submersion injuries. An unknown number of those hospitalized will suffer permanent disability, including brain damage. It also reports that formal swimming lessons have proven to reduce pediatric drowning. 

Water Smart Tots Designer Sunglasses Bingo will take place on Friday September 16 from 6-10 p.m. at Riverview Hills Country Club located at 3943 New River Hills Pkwy. in Valrico. The proceeds will benefit financially underprivileged children or those who have special needs in Hillsborough County by providing scholarships for survival swim lessons. “We recognize that drowning prevention is a community responsibility. Funds raised from our Designer Sunglasses Bingo go directly to benefit our survival swim scholarship program, the only one of its kind in the area,” said Kari Bahour, founder of Water Smart Tots.

Doors open at 6 p.m. with a vendor shopping power hour, appetizers and a cash bar. There will be a silent auction and six door prizes of an Alex and Ani bracelets donated by Operation Lotus. Game play will begin at 7 p.m. Winners get to choose a pair of his or her sunglasses.

Tickets for this event can be purchased for $40 (plus $1 service fee) via www.WaterSmartTots.org. For a limited time, buy two tickets and save $10.

Special thanks to sponsors Waterscapes Pools & Spas, Premier Care Pediatrics, Cardel Homes, Southern Post-Tension, Inc., DJ Jake Dela Cruz, Doran Real Estate Company, Bright Start Credit Solutions, Watch Me Swim and the Osprey Observer. Water Smart Tots also seeks additional sponsors. Sponsorship levels begin at $100. For info, contact 810-8106 or info@watersmarttots.com.

Water Smart Tots is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation dedicated to eliminating pediatric drowning by promoting awareness through water safety education and by providing access to survival swimming skills to infants and young children ages 12 months to 6 years who are financially underprivileged or who have special needs. For more information, visit www.WaterSmartTots.org.