Winner of the NDPA's 2012
      "Lifesaver of the Year" Award
Slide 1

Water Safety Press Conference at Shedd Aquarium

May 27th, 2014 by

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dave Benjamin
Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
708-903-0166
dave.benjamin@glsrp.org

Great Lakes Water Safety Advocates Working in Concert to Save Lives   

Several water safety events planned for Chicagoland area in first week of June

WHAT:
The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP) will announce collaborations with multiple groups, agencies, and organizations during a press event at the Shedd Aquarium.  It will also announce numerous events meant to raise awareness about water safety on the Great Lakes.  These events will coincide with the National Weather Service’s “National Rip Current Awareness Week” and the Council of Great Lakes Governors “Beach Safety Awareness Week”, June 1 – 7, 2014. 

WHO:
Bob Pratt, Executive Director of Education, Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
John Kocher, Father of Matthew, 15, who drowned in Lake Michigan July 2013
Family and friends of drowning victims
Eric Fisher, Manager Beaches & Pools, Chicago Park District
Christine Manninen, Communications Director, the Great Lakes Commission
Marc Miller, Director, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)

WHEN:                
Thursday, May 29, 10:00 a.m.

WHERE:
John G. Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60605

PARKING
Please check with security stationed in the bus turnaround located on the south side of the building.  When entering the Museum Campus follow Solidarity Drive east toward Adler Planetarium, away from the John G. Shedd Aquarium.  About half-way down the street there is a break in the road to turn around and come back west toward the Aquarium.  Approaching from that direction, you will see a bus turnaround on your right hand side. Please pull into the turnaround and security will direct you where to park.

BACKGROUND:
The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, Inc. (GLSRP) is about saving lives.  It is a nonprofit 501c3 corporation that is a Chapter of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA).  It tracks the Great Lakes drowning statistics; teaches “Great Lakes Water Safety” classes; works with family and friends of Great Lakes drowning victims to promote water safety; and hosts Surf Lifeguard Certification courses.  The 2014 GLSRP schedule is available online.

# # #

MISSION & VISION
The GLSRP’s mission is to eradicate drownings by being the leader of Great Lakes water safety by providing training, public preparedness, and public awareness. It’s vision is that everyone in the Great Lakes region, nationwide and worldwide, is knowledgeable, engaged and proactive in water safety with an emphasis on the Great Lakes region. 

GLSRP ACCOMPLISHMENTS
The GLSRP presented at the NDPA’s 12th Annual Symposium, March 14, 2013, in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  It presented at the 2nd International Rip Current Symposium Nov. 1st, 2012 in Sydney, Australia; the 2012 winner of the “Outstanding Service to the Great Lakes Community”; the 2012 “Lifesaver of the Year” award winner; and presented at the NDPA’s 11th Annual Symposium in San Diego, March 9, 2012.

Connect with GLSRP online through Facebook; Twitter; and website.

IN ATTENDANCE
Organizations, Groups, Agencies

  1. The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
  2. Family and friends of Great Lakes drowning victims
  3. Great Lakes drowning survivors
  4. The Chicago Park District
  5. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources
  6. The Great Lakes Commission
  7. The National Weather Service

 Guest List:

  1. Bob Pratt, Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP)
  2. Dave Benjamin, Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP)
  3. John Kocher father of  Matthew Kocher, 15
  4. Kathy Kocher mother of Matthew Kocher
  5. Ruth Richardson, Friend of Matthew Kocher
  6. Diane Scott Family Friend of Matthew Kocher
  7. Mary Clayton Friend of Matthew Kocher
  8. Kevin Clayton Friend of Matthew Kocher
  9. Pat Kueltzo, Friend of Matthew Kocher
  10. Christine Forystek mother of  Cory McFry, 15
  11. Kristie Forystek sister of Cory McFry, 15
  12. Evelyn Hernandez, drowning survivor and lost boyfriend, Leo Dominguez, 31 in accident
  13. Jamie Racklyeft, Drowning survivor, Communications Director, University of Michigan
  14. Melissa Zirkle, mother of  Jermaine, 13
  15. Quandrel Liggans, brother of Jermaine, 13
  16. Vicki Cech, mother of Andy Fox, 17, Cech was on the Steve Harvey Show
  17. Ryan Fox, brother of Andy Fox, 17
  18. Marc Miller director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources
  19. Eric Fisher, The Chicago Park District
  20. Diane Tecic, Coastal Management Program, Illinois Department of Natural Resources
  21. Christine Manninen, Communications Director, Great Lakes Commission
  22. Carmen Lonstein, Great Lakes Commission, IL
  23. Stephen Rodriguez National Weather Service

SPEAKERS

  1. Bob Pratt, Executive Director of Education, Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
  2. John Kocher, father of Matthew Kocher, 15, Tinley Park, IL
  3. Marc Miller director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources
  4. Eric Fisher, Manager Beaches & Pools, Chicago Park District
  5. Christine Manninen, Communications Director, Great Lakes Commission

Facebook Event Pages for Chicagoland Great Lakes Water Safety Classes
June 1, 9:00 a.m., Waukegan Yacht Club, Waukegan, IL
June 7, 9:00 a.m., Chicago, IL; Montrose Beach
June 8, 9:00 a.m., Chicago, IL; Rainbow Beach



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