NAPLES, Fla., July 18, 2023 – Representatives from Molina Healthcare of Florida (“Molina”), NCH Safe and Healthy Children’s Coalition of Collier County (“Coalition”), and other community organizations cut the ribbon on one of two new life jacket loaning stations in Collier County. The ceremony was held at a new station at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park. This station and a second at Tigertail Beach Park, are funded with grant dollars from the The MolinaCares Accord (“MolinaCares”).
Each station is equipped with 20 life jackets in various sizes, including infant, child, youth, and adult sizes, available to guests visiting the parks. Prior life jacket loaning stations at the parks were destroyed after Hurricane Ian hit southwest Florida in September 2022. Through the support of community partners like Molina, the Coalition has been able to rebuild 15 life jacket loaning stations at every Collier County beach and park.
“The NCH Safe and Healthy Children’s Coalition is grateful to the MolinaCares Accord for its generosity and commitment to keeping the Collier County community safe and healthy,” said Coral Vargas, coordinator for the Coalition.
Investments in water safety are critical, as drowning is a leading external cause of death for children ages 1 to 4 in Collier County and in Florida. The Coalition, which has grown to represent more than 70 local agencies since its inception in 2010, has helped more than 10,000 children complete a water safety course. Representatives for U.S. Senator Rick Scott, Congressman Byron Donalds, Collier County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Coast Guard, WAVE Drowning Detection Systems, and Friends of Wiggins Pass attended the ceremony.