October 26, 2011: This month we are very busy for the foundation team! We have traveled to the following conferences to develop our water safety national and international partnerships:
1) World Aquatic Health Conference- Oct 11-14th in Seattle, WA was a wonderful opportunity. As first time attendees, we were not sure what to expect but we were pleasantly surprised at the caliber of attendees at the conference. Our booth was once again very busy with individuals working in all aspects of the aquatic profession (game and parks, city departments, CDC, state health departments, pool owners, aquatics directors, etc). The National Swimming Pool Foundation put on the conference and we were able to visit with quite a few members of the foundation. The NSPF gave us $1,000.00 last April after we met with the ED in Colorado Springs, CO. While in Seattle, we were able to get a private tour of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Headquarters by Blake’s sister Connie who works there as the lead lawyer. Furthermore, we met with the Woodinville Rotary Club members that are endorsing the Josh the Otter Project and committed to buying 1,000 books for their first year effort!
2) Rotary International Zone 33-34 Institute-Oct 20-23 in Washington, D.C. Kathy, Ashley and Laura attended this conference to further our most valuable resource thus far…Rotary Clubs! The attendees of this conference will be the past, president and future District Governors from both zones. This region covers many eastern states and even the Caribbean! To help you understand the impact of one District Governor’s endorsement of the project, each DG oversees 50 Rotary Clubs. In short–we may be growing even larger after this conference. We have had a wonderful showing of support at the conference and look forward to adding a few more states to the Josh the Otter Water Safety and Awareness Project! Viva La Rotary!!
To date, we have over 16 states and two district-wide Josh the Otter Projects that are involved in our project.
3) Midwest Regional Pediatric Conference-Oct 26-28 in Sioux City, NE. Dr. Truemper has been instrumental in getting our foundation involved with this conference. We are a sponsor for the conference and we have brought in an amazing key note speaker, Dr. Frank Pia, who is very involved with drowning prevention efforts. As our partnership with Children’s Hospital Omaha grows, we are hopeful we will be able to engage regional hospitals to take a closer look at drowning prevention education and our project.