HEAT 2008 Learn To Swim Water Safety Campaign

HEAT TO MAKE A SPLASH WITH
2008 LEARN TO SWIM WATER SAFETY CAMPAIGN

HEAT Teams Up With Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, the American Red Cross and the AVP
 For Summer Long Campaign 

MIAMI, FL – 4/8 The Miami HEAT has teamed up with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, the American Red Cross, the City of Coral Gables and the AVP to host the 7th Annual April Pool’s Day on Thursday, April 10 at Venetian Pool at 3:00 p.m. Venetian Pool is located at 2701 De Soto Boulevard in Coral Gables. The event serves to launch a summer long “Learn to Swim” community swim safety campaign and officially kick off the swim season in South Florida.  HEAT players Ricky Davis, Joel Anthony, Marcus Banks, Alexander Johnson and Chris Quinn, along with the HEAT Dancers, will get into the pool with children from HEAT Academy’s Riverside Elementary for a special swimming lesson. The Xtreme Team and Burnie the Mascot will also be in attendance to provide entertainment from 2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. AVP professional beach volleyball players, Olympian Holly McPeak and her partner, Angie Akers, who will be in South Florida for the 2008 AVP Cuervo Gold Crown Crocs Tour Miami Open, will also be on hand to interact with the swimmers from HEAT Academy, an after-school program also sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida.

HEAT Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Michael A. McCullough, representatives from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, the American Red Cross and the City of Coral Gables will be guest speakers at the event followed by the ceremonial lifesaver toss into the pool to officially launch the swimming season.

The April 16th HEAT home game versus the Atlanta Hawks will be “Water Safety Awareness Night,” where fans in attendance will be offered a $10 off swimming lesson coupon to be redeemed at select authorized providers of American Red Cross swimming lessons. For a detailed list of authorized American Red Cross swimming lessons providers, or to learn more about the HEAT Learn to Swim campaign, visit HEAT.com.

With an abundance of bodies of water and residential swimming pools, the state of Florida ranks first nationally in drowning fatalities for children under the age of five. Florida’s overall drowning death rate is twice the national rate in all drowning fatalities, and Miami-Dade County leads the state. This effort will launch a community-wide water safety awareness campaign that will continue through the summer months with surprise visits from HEAT players and talent to various pool locations throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The HEAT is currently producing a public service announcement, which will be distributed throughout South Florida later in the summer.