San Diego lifeguards are asking beachgoers to “fill the fin.” This weekend lifeguards will be hitting the beaches asking for donations for water safety and swim lessons for inner city youth.
If you see these volunteer lifeguards with bright-colored fins, drop in a few coins or bills. Every bit helps. The fundraiser benefits the San Diego Junior Lifeguard Foundation and aquatic programs at the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA is southeast San Diego.
Jackie Robinson Family YMCA Executive Director Michael Brunker said 33,000 children ages 5 to 12 that live in near this Y has never taken swimming lessons. Bunker added that most don’t even have proper swimwear.
“Many parents and kids in poor and minority neighborhoods haven’t grown up around water and don’t have access or the economic means for swim lessons,” said San Diego City Council President Tony Young.
Young said that in San Diego, drowning is the leading cause of non-natural death among children under 5.
Members of the San Diego City Lifeguards, San Diego Junior Lifeguard Foundation and city council members kicked off the campaign earlier this week while meeting with members of the Junior Lifeguard camp at the the .
“Our lifeguards do a great job, but water safety is everyone’s responsibility,” San Diego City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner said. “We all need to protect our youth and educate them about swim safety.”
Lightner, who recalled being a lifeguard in her youth, even demonstrated the stingray shuffle to junior guards.
If you won’t be at the beach this weekend, head to the Padres game Friday night. The San Diego Padres are hosting Petco Park Lifeguard Services Water Safety Awareness Night on Aug. 3. A portion of group ticket sales will benefit “Fill the Fin.” Tickets can still be purchased at padres.com/promo with the promotional code “Lifeguard” or by calling 619-795-5398.
Another way to donate is to stop by any lifeguard station in the city thru Sunday and make a donation.
Lastly, you can also donate online at sdjgfoundation.org.