Em’s Legacy… A Gift For Life

By Cassie McGovern

My husband, Shannon, and I were home with our three beautiful daughters when our 19month old found her way to our back yard pool and drowned. We had a pool fence and gate so we thought we were protected and had plenty of time for her to learn to swim since she was still so young. The McGovern Foundation, Inc. was established as a 501©3 not-for-profit organization for the purpose of raising awareness about drowning prevention and organ donation.

With this life altering tragedy, we feel compelled to make a change within the community and have committed our lives to helping others not suffer the same heartache. The McGovern Foundation, Inc. is in the planning stages of opening up a community based non-profit swim facility. EM’s Place will be a safe haven providing affordable water safety lessons, free CPR certifications, American Red Cross presentations, Organ Donor registration classes and retreats for organ donor families who have lost a loved one.

Drowning is the leading cause of death for children under the age of 5, with our beautiful baby daughter, Edna Mae (EM), adding to the numbers in 2009. Having to arrange the cremation of your own child is probably the toughest thing any parent would do. We will do everything in our power to help improve the statistics. Each death is a life; a loved one that is no longer here. Every day about ten people die from unintentional drownings in the United States. There is a tremendous need for a community-based facility concentrated on offering free to low cost water survival skills in a fun, engaging environment. Broward County carries the number one spot in the nation for drowning deaths.

The main goal behind EM’s Place is to get children safe in and around the water by offering affordable water safety lessons to children five and under; although kids of all ages will have fun at EM’s Place. Our passion is to lower accidental drowning statistics and help raise the awareness needed within the Organ Donation community. Our facility will be open to the entire community, with a multitude of activities for all ages.

Our daughter’s death has taught us that this can and does happen to anyone. Drowning is silent and only takes a moment.  As her parents, we do not like that she had to pay the ultimate price with her life;  but through her death, we have accepted the challenge to help prevent more from happening. If you believe in what we have committed to accomplish, please visit www.mcgovernfoundation.com and consider making a tax deductible donation. Every dollar brings us one step closer to a  water-safe community!

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