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Stay Afloat safety fair

By ThisIsReno

SUBMITTED NEWS RELEASE

Truckee River Foundation provides free safety gear and  instruction to increase river safety

The Truckee River Foundation (TRF) will host the sixth annual Stay Afloat Safety Fair on Sunday, July 18, 2010, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., a day of free river safety classes for kids and parents. Through its River Safety Fair, TRF has distributed more than 500 free water safety helmets and personal flotation devices to kids that play in the Truckee River Whitewater Park. 

“The Whitewater Park is a dynamic part of downtown Reno, and because river flows have been especially high from the area’s late spring storms, it’s important now more than ever to educate kids about river safety,” Debbie Leonard, a member of the TRF Board of Directors said. “With kids and families visiting the park in large numbers, the Stay Afloat Fair serves an important function to ensure that children understand proper safety procedures and have knowledge about the river and its potential dangers.” 

Throughout the day, the Stay Afloat Safety Fair offers free 50-minute workshops for kids age eight to 13 that cover proper fitting of a personal flotation device and helmet, how to safely maneuver in the currents and eddies and how to escape potentially dangerous situations in the water. With only three to four children per instructor and safety personnel in the water and on shore throughout the event, this is an intensive, must-attend workshop for every child who enjoys water recreation.  In addition, due to the enthusiastic feedback received from parents and kids, TRF has expanded its on-land classes for younger children (age five to eight) and advanced classes using boogie boards for kids who have successfully completed the introductory workshop.  Reservations are not required and all workshops are first come, first serve. 

“Summer temperatures often create the illusion that the river is not dangerous to its recreational users,” Lynn Zonge, primary author of the Truckee River Recreation Plan and TRF board member said. “It is important to remember that the river is unpredictable. The Stay Afloat Safety Fair is a great way to ensure that your child is prepared for playing in the river.”

TRF started the Stay Afloat Fair as a direct result of the enthusiastic response received from the community’s youth who have played in the downtown river since construction of the Truckee River Whitewater Park.  Funds from the Nevada Department of Wildlife, the Leonette Foundation and Redwood Creek Winery allow TRF to offer the event in 2010 by providing proper water equipment and educational clinics geared toward understanding safe river recreation. 

Sponsors include: The Nevada Department of Wildlife Boater Safety Program, the City of Reno, Model Dairy, McDonald Carano Wilson LLP and Olsen & Associates.  For more information about the Truckee River Foundation and its Stay Afloat Safety Fair, call Debbie Leonard at (775) 788-2000 or visit www.TruckeeRiverFoundation.org.

The Truckee River Foundation (TRF) is a non-profit organization created to provide environmental education, safety and athlete development programs centered around the Truckee River.