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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Phillips 66 is partnering with Olympic Gold medal swimmer Cullen Jones and the USA Swimming Foundation on a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of learning to swim as pools open for the summer across the country. The "Make a Splash with Cullen Jones Tour Presented by Phillips 66" visited Houston and New Orleans in March, and will continue with four stops this year. Jones also conducted a satellite media tour designed to educate parents on the importance of learning to swim on May 30.
Tour stops include Chicago, Des Moines, Iowa, San Jose, Calif., and a final city which will be chosen via the Make a Splash for Water Safety Video Contest. At each stop, Jones will share his personal story of nearly drowning at a water park when he was 5 years old, and communicate the importance of water safety and swimming knowledge. Each stop includes an in-water lesson and presentation of a $5,000 grant to a learn-to-swim provider to provide free swimming lessons to local children from USA Swimming Foundation and Phillips 66.
"Every child in America needs to learn how to swim. It is a critical skill that can determine the difference between life and death in a matter of seconds," said Jones, the first African-American male to hold a world record in swimming. "Drowning is an epidemic, but it's an epidemic with a cure. That is why I am so proud to be working with the USA Swimming Foundation and Phillips 66 to educate parents, children and caregivers about the learn-to-swim resources available in their communities. By raising awareness and providing the opportunity for more kids to learn to swim, we are saving lives."
More than 1.2 million kids have taken lessons through the USA Swimming Foundation's Make a Splash initiative. "Make a Splash" educates parents and communities through a national awareness campaign and by aligning learn-to-swim providers to provide children of all backgrounds with the opportunity to learn to swim.
"The USA Swimming Foundation is dedicated to saving lives and building champions, and by raising awareness about the importance of learning to swim and providing the opportunity for kids to take lessons, we are absolutely saving lives," said Debbie Hesse, executive director of the USA Swimming Foundation.
Phillips 66 and its predecessor ConocoPhillips have partnered with USA Swimming for 39 years, according to the announcement.
"Phillips 66 is committed to safety and we are pleased to partner with the USA Swimming Foundation in recognizing American cities with the same commitment. Our annual support of the Make a Splash Tour embodies the company's focus on safety by reaching out to parents across the nation to build awareness, and by giving thousands of children the opportunity to learn a valuable life-saving skill," said Kristi DesJarlais, manager, corporate brand and community investment, Phillips 66.