By Kate Quesada
Florida residents know the importance of water safety and the scary statistics associated with infant drowning. Local charity Water Smart Tots is hosting an event next month where donors can have fun while raising funds to help teach local children to swim.
The second annual Water Smart Tots Designer Sunglasses Bingo fundraiser will take place on Thursday, September 14 from 6-10 p.m. at River Hills Country Club in Valrico.
“This is our biggest fundraising event to raise money to provide survival swimming scholarships to financially underprivileged children or children with special needs in Hillsborough County,” said Came Yick, the Community Outreach Coordinator For Water Smart Tots who proposed the idea for the event to the charity’s board in 2016. “Last year the event was nearly sold out and raised more than $8,000. The funds directly benefitted more than 25 children.”
Water Smart Tots in a non-profit corporation dedicated to eliminating pediatric drowning in Hillsborough County.
“With pediatric drowning being the leading cause of accidental death among children ages one to four in Florida, Water Smart Tots was founded by local resident Kari Bahour on the belief that every child deserves the opportunity to learn survival swimming skills,” said Yick. “Since our inception, close to 200 children have benefitted from receiving scholarships who would otherwise not have been able to afford lessons.”
“The nationwide average cost for the 4-6 week specialized swim program is approximately $400-$500 per child,” said Yick. “For many families, these classes would not an option for them without a voucher or scholarship.”
In addition to Bingo, every ticketed player will also receive a goodie bag with snacks from Heavenly Creations and Harvest Crisps, samples from R+F by Amanda McMahon and coupons from Pinot’s Palete and Chick-fil-A Bloomingdale. Each bag will contain a raffle ticket for a chance to win a door prize of one of six Alex & And bracelets provide by Operation Lotus. DJ Jake Dela Cruz will provide music for the evening. There will also be a 50/50 auction with baskets including Stampin’ Up Scrapbooking, Disney, Busch Gardens, Florida Aquarium, Aquatica, SeaWorld, Medieval Times and WonderWorks tickets, 2 roundtrip tickets on JetBlue & much more. There will also be appetizers and a cash bar. Visit www.watersmarttots.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.