The Aqua Ball is a fundraiser sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Greater Collier to help prevent childhood drowning by providing life saving swimming lessons.
The Greater Collier Club voted to make its mission the prevention of childhood drowning. Club members knew people who had experienced near drownings, friends who drowned, and a 3 year old who drowned in a Marco Island pool.
The Kiwanis Club of Greater Collier joined the Safe and Healthy Children’s Coalition of Collier County’s Drowning Prevention Initiative. This group includes the Collier County Health Department, Red Cross, Collier County Fire Service& EMS, pediatricians, and community volunteers.
Aqua Ball funds have helped teach 70 low income mothers from Grace Place how to swim, giving them the ability of saving their own life and the lives of their children. The mothers were then able to help their children overcome a fear of water.
Over 215 pairs of door alarms were distributed throughout the community. Lifeguard instruction training and water safety instructions were provided at the Naples River Park Aquatic Center. Funds for swim scholarships were provided to Tenley’s Aquatics, ISR Fernanda Whitney, River Park Aquatic Center and Swimtastic Swim Schools.
Last year’s Aqua Ball funded ‘Stewie the Duck’ – a costumed character who visits schools and attends public events to teach young children to never swim alone.
In 2018 there were 88 drownings in the state of Florida. In a majority of these drownings, the child simply walked out of their house undetected and drowned in the family pool. Some of these drownings also occurred in retention ponds, bathtubs, canals, in the Gulf of Mexico, and in public pools where the caregivers were distracted.
Swim lessons and other layers of protection could have saved those children. Drowning prevention efforts have been endorsed by the Naples City Council, Collier County Commissioners, Marco Island City Council, and business leaders in Lee and Collier Counties.
Past Aqua Ball special guest and speaker, 2016 Paralympic gold medalist Michelle Konkoly, spoke how swimming saved her life and helped her walk again.
This year’s Honorary Chairs are Reg Buxton, Naples City Councilmember, and Sandra Lee Buxton Commissioner for the Collier County Mosquito Control Board. Reg and Sandra Lee have been involved in promoting and supporting community efforts in Collier County for over 30 years.
The Aqua Ball is a dance party, silent auction and a live auction with naming scholarships all rolled into a delightful and entertaining evening. When the ballroom doors swing open the party begins!
This year’s event is May 11, 2019 at the Naples Hilton from 5:00 pm -10:00 pm. A VIP event will be held prior to the start of the Aqua Ball.
Please visit www.kiwanisaquaball.com for more information and tickets, 100% of the proceeds go to drowning prevention efforts. Your donation will help save a child’s life.