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HELPING OUT

Thirsty for more on how Toho is making a difference in Osceola County?

During the dogs days of summer, it’s easy to see the impact of Toho Water Authority in our community. We turn on the tap for clean, refreshing water more this time of year to stay hydrated. Our lawns and gardens are also probably parched lately as the end of summer draws near and the sun and heat take it out of us all.

The back-to-school season is now in full swing. It’s still HOT, but at least we know fall is on the way! And thanks to the longstanding partnership between Toho Water and the Osceola County YMCA, hundreds of students will return to class knowing how to swim. They learned what is both a life-saving skill and a rite of passage for Florida kids. While swimming (and learning to swim) is a fun way to beat the heat, safety is paramount.

Did you know that Florida leads the nation in childhood drowning deaths for kids under the age of 5? It’s also the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4 in our state. What’s perhaps more startling than these statistics is that many of the incidents could have been prevented. It’s a tragic reminder that we must invest in teaching our children how to swim. (And if you’re a mom or dad who doesn’t know either, take lessons with your kids!)

Since 1999, the Y’s Safe Start Survival Swim Lessons have taught more than 13,000 children in Central Florida how to be safe and confident around water. After all, our state is surrounded by water on three sides, and there are millions of pools, lakes, and springs here. Even babies as young as 6 months can learn techniques such as how to hold their breath under water, turn onto their backs, and float unassisted should they accidentally fall into a pool.

So it’s really never too late or too early to learn to swim or practice water safety.

That’s why Toho Water invests in the local YMCA every summer for this important program.

Next month we’re happy to again be supplying free bottled water for thousands of students, parents, educators, and volunteers at the Welcome Back Expo on Wednesday, September 9 at Osceola Heritage Park. Sponsored by the Education Foundation of Osceola County, the annual event is one of dozens that we support throughout the year.

Toho Water Authority is the largest utility in Osceola County, serving more than 88,000 residential, commercial, and government customers. We’re committed to providing clean drinking water along with top-notch wastewater and reclaimed water services day in and day out. And as you can see, we’re also serious about investing back into our community and conserving safe, clean drinking water for future generations.

Since being established in 2003, Toho Water has been cultivating a network of partnerships with nonprofit organizations and other public agencies in Osceola County – from Meals on Wheels to the Osceola County Historical Society to the Silver Spurs Rodeo. Our staff also works on a variety of community initiatives, including Community Vision’s annual Leadership Osceola program and countless water presentations for the public. If you’re interested in working with us, click here for more details. And even if you’re not, we’re still here to serve.