USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash Initiative Receives $51,000 Thanks to Citi and Olympic Gold Medalist Cullen Jones
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (November 29, 2012) – The USA Swimming Foundation is pleased to recognize Citi and Olympic swimmer Cullen Jones, who, through Citi’s “Every Step of the Way” program, have provided support in the amount of $51,000 to the Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative. Make a Splash is a national, child-focused water safety initiative that aims to provide the opportunity for every child in America to learn to swim.
Citi’s Every Step of the Way(SM) program, is a dynamic digital program that allowed the American people to help allocate Citi’s $500,000 donation to the U.S. Olympic Committee – represented by 50 million ThankYou Points -- among different Sport Programs that have inspired Citi’s team of 13 athletes.
Olympic gold medalist swimmer and Citi athlete Cullen Jones chose to support the Make a Splash initiative.
“Every child in America needs to learn how to swim. It is a critical skill that can determine the difference between life and death,” said Jones, winner of one gold medal and two silver medals at the 2012 Olympic Games. “I am so proud to have been able to work with Citi to support the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative. Drowning is an epidemic, but it’s an epidemic with a cure, and I remain incredibly committed to making a difference in this area.”
Through the Make a Splash initiative, more than 1.5M children have taken life-saving swimming lessons at one of the USA Swimming Foundation’s 555 local partner organizations. The Foundation regularly provides grants and scholarships to its local partner organizations which commit to providing free or reduced-cost swimming lessons, or conducting free water safety education in their communities.
“The USA Swimming Foundation is dedicated to saving lives and building champions, and this effort by Cullen Jones and Citi truly helps us impact children in a way that has the potential to save lives,” said Debbie Hesse, executive director of the USA Swimming Foundation. “We are incredibly grateful to Citi and to Cullen Jones for helping us reach more kids with this incredible initiative.”
Citi’s Every Step campaign provided a total of $500,000 in funding to 12 different sport programs as selected by its 13 sponsored athletes. The 13 athletes of “Team Citi” were selected because they exemplify the spirit and mission of the Every Step of the Way program. Among them, they have 32 Olympic and Paralympic medals -- winning a combined 11 Olympic and Paralympic medals in London -- and represent a range of sports: swimming, soccer, tennis, triathlon, track & field (Olympic/Paralympic), gymnastics, and sitting volleyball.
“Citi is proud to support Team USA athletes like Cullen Jones and programs like Make a Splash that inspire children to achieve,” said Ed Skyler, Executive Vice President, Global Public Affairs, Citi. “Make a Splash saves lives and supports athletes in hundreds of communities. We are pleased that Citi’s Every Step of the Way program will help Make a Splash have a lasting impact across the country.”