Safety Around Water donors support water safety program for local youth at YMCA

Tim Blenco, chief operating officer, YMCA of Western North Carolina (left), and Jay Kirby, president and CEO of Pardee/UNC Health Care (right), at the Hendersonville Family YMCA Safety Around Water program. Photo courtesy of YMCA of WNC



The YMCA of Western North Carolina thanks Pardee/UNC Health Care and arena® swimwear for their generous support of the Y’s Safety Around Water program being held this summer in Buncombe and Henderson counties.

Funding from Pardee helped the Y pilot the program, which is designed to engage and educate parents about water safety skills, with a focus on reaching underserved communities where risk of child drowning is highest. arena’s donation of 600 new swimsuits addressed an often unreported barrier to participation by making sure each youth participant had appropriate gear to join in the water safety and swim activities.

“The support from Pardee and arena was critical in making this life-saving program possible,” said Paul P. Vest, president and CEO of the YMCA of Western North Carolina. “We are grateful for their commitment to our community’s children, and for sharing the Y’s vision both of keeping youth safe and teaching them to love—not fear—the water.”

“Water safety skills are important for a child to learn,” says Pardee CEO and president Jay Kirby. “Pardee/UNC Health Care is proud to partner with the YMCA of Western North Carolina to make this life-saving program possible.”

Families interested in learning more about Safety Around Water and how to enroll their child in local Y swimming and water safety classes should visit

For more information about Safety Around Water, please contact Tina Weaver, director of program development, at or 828 210 9605.

About Susan Foster
Freelance writer passionate about wellness and spirituality, clinical psychologist, avid hiker and reader. Follow me @susanjfosterphd

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