Rotary Club of South Haven Partners with Bronson Safe Kids to Install Life Jacket Loaner Stations at South Haven Beaches
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Published on August 11, 2022

Rotary Club of South Haven Partners with Bronson Safe Kids to Install Life Jacket Loaner Stations at South Haven Beaches

South Haven, Mich. – On Thursday, August, 4th, the Rotary Club of South Haven presented a $1,640 check to the Bronson Wellness Center’s Safe Kids Greater South Haven (SKGSH) water safety program. The funds have been used to install life jacket loaner stations at South Haven’s North and South beaches.

According to Pam Ford, coordinator of SKGSH program, drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death in all children ages 1-4 and is the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children 19 and under. The availability of life jackets adds one layer of protection. According to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, 65 people have drowned in the Great Lakes in 2022, 29 of those drownings were in Lake Michigan. Tragically, two of these were in South Haven.

Pam emphasized, “Preventing drownings in our community has been a driving force behind joint efforts by the South Haven Rotary, City of South Haven, South Haven Emergency Services, Bronson South Haven and Safe Kids to bring life jacket loaner stations to beaches in Van Buren County. We want to educate and provide resources that help locals and visitors safely enjoy Lake Michigan.”

In addition to wearing life jackets, SKGSH and community partners also remind families to follow these water safety tips:

  • Give children your undivided attention in the water and keep them within arm’s reach. 
  • Appoint an adult Water Watcher and trade roles every 15-20 minutes
  • Teach kids to swim, and to never swim alone. 
  • Learn CPR.

Mary Sue Lyon, South Haven Rotary Club President, affirmed that Rotary is continuing its mission to partner with the community to advocate for water safety measures and communicate important water safety messages to the public.

In 2020 South Haven Rotary was a major contributor toward the construction of the City of South Haven Splash Pad, providing families a warm weather day alternative when Lake Michigan conditions are hazardous.

Rotary was also a contributor to a project through the Visitors Bureau and Bronson Safe Kids Coalition in printing water safety placemats for restaurants and lodging establishments.

This newest contribution of $1,640 allows SKGSH to place the life jacket loaner stations at the city's South and North Beaches. Earlier, SKGSH placed loaner stations at the Pilgrim Haven beach, Van Buren State Park, and Covert Township Park.

The Rotary Club of South Haven over the past two years has donated over $120,000 in support of local, regional and international non-profit initiatives.