United States Senate Hearing Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (May 24, 2017) –  Today the United States Senate is holding a hearing to recognize and celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act (the “VGB Act”). The VGB Act is the first federal legislation passed by Congress that addresses pool and spa safety. Since its passage, there has not been a single death from entrapment in the United States in a public pool. The VGB Act was signed into law by President George Bush on December 19, 2007, and became effective on December 19, 2008.

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Abbey's Story

In June 2007, six-year-old Abbey suffered a horrific injury. While playing in a public wading pool, Abbey unknowingly sat on a poorly maintained drain that was unequipped with the appropriate safety devices. The powerful suction eviscerated Abbey, ripping her small intestine from her body. Nine months of medical care followed, including 16 surgeries, multiple organ transplants, several infections and many, many nights spent in a hospital bed. Despite the best medical care, Abbey went peacefully with her family by her side in March 2008. In the hospital, Scott and Katey Taylor made a promise to Abbey – a promise to make sure this kind of injury never happens again. And so, with that goal in mind, Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation was founded.

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Become a Water Watchdog

Children can drown in seconds. Yes, even in pools where lifeguards are present. That’s why we’ve designed the Water Watchdog Program. The idea is simple. One adult wears the Watchdog Tag around bodies of water and follows the rules below. When the designated Water Watchdog needs to take a break, he or she hands off the tag, and the responsibility, to another adult.

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Abbey's Hope Reminds Parents To Be Safe While On Winter Vacation

MINNEAPOLIS- (December 7, 2016)- Winter is approaching fast and many are turning to vacation plans - for those in cold environments that means beaches, cruises and resorts in warm climates. As you make your plans don't forget about safety and the importance of staying vigilant around water. Never take a vacation from safety. Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation would like to remind parents about the important steps that we should take to keep children safe around pools, spas and open bodies of water.

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Twin Cities Residents Gather for Fourth Annual World's Largest Swimming Lesson

MINNEAPOLIS – (June 24, 2016) – Hundreds of Twin Cities children gathered Friday afternoon at North Commons Water Park for the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson, learning life-saving techniques and raising water safety awareness.

As part of a partnership between Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, lifeguards and instructors taught 300 children of all ages and abilities various crucial skills. Two 30-minute lessons covered entering and exiting the water, breathing and submerging, floating, and proper swimming strokes.

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The ZAC Foundation Returns to The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities Joined by Abbey’s Hope and the YMCA, to Host Second Local ZAC Camp on July 25, 2016.

ST. PAUL- (July 19, 2016) - In continuation of a national partnership dedicated to bringing water safety education to the communities that need it most, national water-safety organization, The ZAC Foundation will be joined by Minnesota-based pool-safety organization, Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation, to host The ZAC Foundation’s award-winning ZAC Camp at the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities. This is the second year The ZAC Foundation has selected the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities through its grant program. The camp will include a visit from Olympic Gold Medalist and NBC Olympic Swimming Analyst Rowdy Gaines, who will be teaching campers water safety lessons both in and out of the pool.

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Abbey's Hope Brings World's Largest Swimming Lesson to North Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS – (June 13, 2016) – As part of its mission to prevent childhood drowning incidents, Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation is partnering with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to host the fourth annual World’s Largest Swimming Lesson on Friday, June 24. This free, open-to-the-public event will take place at North Commons Water Park for the first time.

Water safety and education are crucial for every community,” said Abbey’s Hope co-founder and chairman Scott Taylor. “We are proud to partner with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to host this important event and promote water safety. The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson allows us to share our important message with the Twin Cities.”

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The Dragonfly Story

Excerpted from the eulogy at Abbey Taylor's Celebration of Life Service

Below the surface of a quiet pond lived a colony of water bugs. They were happy, living far from the sun. But they noticed that occasionally, a member of their colony would climb up a lily stalk and disappear from sight, never to return. Where do you suppose she went? wondered a water bug.

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Pool Safety Tips

  • Use the Water Watchdog System to make sure children are always closely supervised in the pool area.

  • Remind kids to stay away from pool and hot tub drains.

  • Never dive into water less than 9 feet deep.

  • Keep gates to the pool area latched.

More water safety tips