ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Dec. 27, 2016) – Florida Suncoast Safe Kids Coalition named Anita Westmoreland as the 2016 Member of the Year. She was honored for her efforts in increasing water safety with area children.
As recreations supervisor for the City of St. Petersburg’s parks & recreation department, Westmoreland is heavily involved in raising awareness for water safety programs. She also developed new water safety programs, including handing out donated life jackets at various beaches and boat ramps around the Tampa Bay area and raising money to supplement free swimming lessons for every child in St. Petersburg who doesn’t know how to swim, or can’t afford the classes.
Westmoreland’s work aligns with one of Suncoast Safe Kids’ main objectives to decrease the number of drowning and near-drowning incidents in children aged 5 years and younger. The organization is the local affiliate of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global nonprofit dedicated to preventing avoidable injuries in children, which is the top killer of children in the United States.
“Anita works tirelessly to improve water safety for children,” said Charlene Cobb, Suncoast Safe Kids chairperson and Sunstar Paramedics community outreach coordinator. “She is making extraordinary progress toward the Safe Kids’ mission.”
Suncoast Safe Kids also recognized the Tampa Bay Rays for its ongoing support of the City of St. Petersburg’s water safety initiatives through its community corner.
In addition, Florin Roebig Trial Attorneys was honored for their support of Suncoast Safe Kids. The law firm named Suncoast Safe Kids as the 2016 charity of choice for its Annual Egg Hunt & Spring Festival. Through the event, Suncoast Safe Kids provided safety messages to more than 5,000 people and benefitted from the raffle proceeds.
Suncoast Safe Kids announced the award recipients on Dec. 6 at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club.
Suncoast Safe Kids has 65 members from more than 30 organizations, including first responders, educators, local agencies, civic groups, businesses, health and safety experts, and volunteers from Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties. The organization is led by John’s Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg and serves five Tampa Bay area counties.
About Florida Suncoast Safe Kids Coalition
The Florida Suncoast Safe Kids Coalition is led by St. Petersburg All Children’s Hospital, which provides dedicated and caring staff, operation support and other resources to assist in achieving our common goal: keeping your kids safe. Based on the needs of the community, this coalition implements evidence-based programs, such as car-seat checkups, safety workshops and sports clinics, that help parents and caregivers prevent childhood injuries.