Ybor City YMCA fundraiser focused on water safety for kids

- Central City YMCA in Ybor City held its first Swim-A-Thon Saturday to raise money for children's swim programs.

State Attorney Andrew Warren, who took a dip himself, hosted the event.

"We're out here raising awareness, raising money to help prevent unnecessary drowning deaths by kids in Hillsborough County," Warren said.

The Swim-A-Thon comes on the heels of a near-drowning of 9-year-old Tampa boy. He was pulled from a pool Wednesday afternoon and remains in critical condition.

"These tragedies are unfortunately happening, but they are preventable," Warren said. "We know it's a great time for kids to be out with their families celebrating during the summer, but we need to make sure kids are safe."

Minutes into the event, they received their first big donation, $1,000 from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

"Our sheriff's office has their own HCSO Charity, where they monthly put in a pool of money to help make the community stronger and help those that are in the most need," said Sheriff Chad Chronister.

Julianne Holt, who also donated, says it provides a sense of community.

"This is a way to come together, have fun, and bring camaraderie to our respective offices and our agencies," she said. "It makes you realize that there are good things you can do all collaboratively together, toward a good cause."

At last count, officials say around $3,000 was raised. For information about the YMCA's fundraising efforts and swim programs, visit https://washburnt4.wixsite.com/sat2018.

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