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Red Cross and The Salvation Army Join Forces to Reduce Drowning

CAMDEN, NJ, February 21, 2018 – In an expansion of a national multi-year campaign to reduce drownings, The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center has joined the American Red Cross Aquatics Centennial Campaign.

“The goal of the Red Cross Centennial Campaign is to make water safety a priority and reduce drownings,” said Ana Montero, CEO, American Red Cross New Jersey Region. “We partner with Red Cross aquatics training providers like The Salvation Army to make swim lessons and water safety training available, accessible and affordable to communities where there are high numbers of drownings.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there have been 28 drowning deaths in Camden County between 2008 and 2014.

“The Red Cross Centennial Campaign provides the Kroc Center an opportunity to help reverse some very troubling statistics,” said Major Terry Wood, Administrator, The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center. “The Centennial Campaign is more than an opportunity to help save lives. It is an opportunity to help kids develop skills that will last a lifetime.”

Aquatics Centennial Campaign by the Numbers

The Red Cross campaign began in 2014 in recognition of 100 years of Red Cross swimming safety education. Due to the positive response, the campaign is expanding beyond the initial 50 communities.

Through the end of 2017, national campaign milestones include:

- 63,042 sets of swim lessons in 93 communities and 204 aquatic facilities in 18 states

- 1,235 junior lifeguards trained

- 607 lifeguards certified

- 576 Water Safety and Basic Swim instructors certified

- 4,190 parents and caregivers armed with lifesaving water-safety knowledge and skills

With the help of campaign sponsors and through local training providers, the Red Cross is able to help provide swim lessons, as well as junior lifeguard, lifeguard and swim instructor training, at little or no cost in these communities. This effort also helps educate parents, children and teens so that everyone stays as safe as possible as they enjoy time in and around the water.

“The Red Cross is proud to partner with The Salvation Army on this and other lifesaving campaigns aimed at building the resiliency of the communities we serve,” added Montero. “Children and adults learning to swim is key to the success of this Aquatics Centennial Campaign partnership and reducing drownings in Camden County.”

Sessions are being scheduled on a rolling basis with current slots available for March, April and May.  For more information or to enroll yourself or your children in water safety training or lifeguarding through the Centennial program at the Kroc Center, email Jim Warner, Aquatics Manager, at or Melissa Volkert, Aquatics Coordinator, at

People can learn about actions they can take to help make themselves and their families safer in and around water at Additional information about the Red Cross Aquatics Centennial Campaign, including a video, is available at

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter

About The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center:

The Salvation Army Kroc Center is a 120,000-square-foot state-of-the-art center on a 24-acre campus, providing recreational, health, educational, cultural, family and spiritual programming to Camden and the surrounding community.  The facility includes a black box theater, water park, pool, commercial kitchen, youth and senior centers, chapel, field house, fitness center, food pantry and much more.  Outdoor amenities include a soccer/football field and two baseball/softball fields. Visit file:///C:/Users/Daniel.Bergels/AppData/Local/Temp/notesC7A056/"> for more information.

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