In the Swim - The Florida Helps
Foundation PADLS Program
There is no question about it; knowing how to swim is a big asset in our water-centric community. For years, the local Kiwanis Club has helped fund swimming lessons for all the children in our town. It cannot be understated how important this is, given the many drowning accidents reported across the state every year. In fact, of the entire country, the Sunshine State has the highest rate of drowning accidents involving children aged 5 and under (see FloridaHealth.org). Perhaps even more dire, accidental drowning is the number one leading cause of death in the nation among autistic and special needs children. Fortunately, there are Fort Myers Beach-based organizations like the Florida Helps Foundation (FH). The brainchild of Founder and Executive Director, Mike VonPlinsky, FH and its many volunteers, sponsors and donors, are working to help tackle this problem with a wonderful solution - the PADLS (Persons with Autism or Disabilities Learn to Swim) program.