Dunigan Family YMCA (Evansville, IN) receives Life Jackets from AOAP

We are so grateful to have received the AOAP lifejacket grant! Our facility only had a few
lifejackets to offer to members, and they were getting old and worn out. With receiving 50 new
lifejackets we are now able to accommodate large groups who need lifejackets. We host a regular event,
Kids Night In, where children are dropped off for an evening at the Y which includes swimming. In the
past we have needed to split the large group of kids into two groups to make sure we could
accommodate them appropriately. However after receiving this grant, at our last Kids Night In we were
able to allow all of the children to swim together in the new lifejackets, which allowed them more swim
time. We are excited of the new possibilities of hosting larger events now that we can provide more
lifejackets for safety.

Lifejackets are essential in teaching water safety. At our YMCA we have 150-400 children per
week in swim lessons programs year-round. An important part of the swim lesson curriculum is teaching
water safety. In our safety skills, we teach kids the importance of life jackets, how to properly wear
them, and boat safety. We have two small inflatable boats that we use to teach children how to safely
climb in and out of a boat, how to stay safe in a boat, what to do if a boat flips over, and most
importantly the necessity of wearing lifejackets at all times in a boat. Our instructors give a small talk on
lifejackets on boating safety, help the children ensure that their lifejacket is fitting properly, teach
boating rules and safety, and then take them for a boat ride around the pool! This segment of swim
lessons is always the kid’s favorite part and a fun way to teach water safety. With the new lifejackets
that we have received, this program has been enhanced! We are now able to put all of the children in
swim lessons in lifejackets for safety day rather than switching out lifejackets between the groups. This
allows us to spend more time teaching lifejacket safety.
Thank you for awarding us the AOAP Lifejacket grant! Our facility has already found new ways to
make great use of them. We are excited to continue to be able to provide certified floatation devices to
our members to use at our facility, and to be able to use them to educate on safety in the future.

-Dunigan Family YMCA (Evansville, IN)
AOAP Lifejacket Grant Recipient

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Juliene Hefter

Juliene is the Executive Director/CEO of AOAP. She has a background in running and operating diverse aquatic facilities and venues and is a national and international speaker on a variety of topics. She is also an expert witness/consultant.

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