Cambria, 23 months old, just completed her self-rescue swim lessons at Watch Me Swim in Riverview through a scholarship received by Water Smart Tots Foundation.

Water Smart Tots (WST) is hosting its second annual charity gala to raise awareness for childhood drownings at the beginning of May. The “Every Child, Water Smart” Gala, to be hosted on Friday, May 5 at The Westin Harbour, located at 725 S. Harbour Island Blvd. in Tampa, will feature live music, dancing and dinner for guests.

All proceeds raised at the gala through ticket sales and community donations will benefit Water Smart Tots Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to combating childhood drownings in the Greater Tampa Bay area. The gala replaced the bingo fundraiser in order to include more people from the community.

“At the gala, we will be highlighting what WST has done all year, including scholarships and outreach programs,” said Glen Woo.

One of the scholarship winners is Cambria, who started in the Watch Me Swim program when she was 2 years old. This year, she is returning for more lessons. Cambria was awarded its level-two scholarship to support her family and her participation in the swim programs.

“[She is returning] for her refresher classes because as their bodies grow, newer skills need to be learned to prevent drowning,” said Woo.

This year, Water Smart Tots is hoping to host 150 people to raise around $30,000 for its programs.

Edge Pools is a platinum sponsor for this year’s gala in order to raise awareness for water safety. Through the partnership, Edge Pools hopes to reduce water-related injuries and deaths by supporting Water Smart Tots’ programs.

“Edge Pools supports Water Smart Tots Foundation because water safety is very important to us. Pools provide entertainment and fun for the whole family, but if water safety is not learned or practiced, it can turn tragic for both the pool owner and the families of all involved,” said Edge Pools owner Heidi Edgerton.

The black-tie optional event will start at 6 p.m., with drinks, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction preceding dinner.

Tickets for the event cost $150 per person and full tables of 10 seats cost $1,100. Sponsorships are still available from $250-$2,500.

For more information on Water Smart Tots or to purchase tickets for the gala, visit

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Lily Belcher
Lily Belcher is a writer for the Osprey Observer. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey Observer since completing her internship. Lily is majoring in mass communications at the University of South Florida and is a staff writer for the university’s paper, The Oracle. She enjoys writing about local nonprofit organizations and community role models who have made an impact on her hometown.