11/20/2014 4:31:41 PM
The Parklands Foundation knows a child will drown in Charleston County next summer. We just don’t know their name. The Parklands Foundation of Charleston County is focused on the reality of tragic drowning incidents in Charleston long before the water season starts.
A nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization, The Parklands Foundation was created in May 1990 by the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission to generate funding for the continued growth and development of the county park system and support increased leisure opportunities for residents. In May of 2014, The Parklands Foundation transitioned into more of a project- based foundation in which projects that actively encourage people to experience the Charleston County park system’s facilities, programs, and services for the benefit of living a healthier and safer lifestyle are identified, developed, and a long term strategy created.
The Genesis Project is the first project of this type under The Parklands Foundation. The project was formally established in the summer of 2014 after the tragic drowning of a 13-year-old boy in Hollywood, SC named Genesis Holmes on May 5. The project’s name not only honors the life of Genesis and all others who died in this tragic way, but represents the beginning of the foundation’s efforts to reduce the number of drowning occurrences in the rural areas of Charleston County.
The vision for the Genesis Project is to reduce the number of drowning incidents in Charleston County by providing access to pools in the rural communities for swimming instruction, water safety classes, recreational programming and leisure activities. The Genesis Project will solicit funding to build, maintain and cover the ongoing expenses of a pool in each of the rural areas of McClellanville, Johns Island, and Hollywood/Ravenel, as well as offer associated programs so the community can enjoy the benefits of living a healthier and safer lifestyle.
Work is now underway to educate the public on the facts provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). We know 10 people die every day from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. In addition, fatal drowning is the fifth-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death in for children ages 1 – 14 years and the fifth-leading cause of people of all ages in the US. It is our hope through raising awareness to the public that we can begin receiving help to fund The Genesis Project and build pools for the summer of 2015. For more information or to make a donation, go to www.TheParklandsFoundation.org.