National Drowning Prevention Alliance
     “Lifesaver of the Year” Award 2012 & 2020
        “Community Lifesaver” Award 2016 & 2018

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Parents to speak about sons drownings Friday

Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
Dave Benjamin, Executive Director

Gentle Giant

Two Parents to speak about their sons drownings Friday

at Water Safety Conference 

GREAT LAKES, USA – The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP) is proud to announce that its board member, John Kocher and his wife Kathy, and its fellow water safety advocate, Vicki Cech, will be attending and speaking at the Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium’s conference, Friday, April 22, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Grand Haven Community Center, 421 Columbus Avenue, Grand Haven, MI.

Matthew Kocher 0002

On July 27, 2013 the Kocher’s lost their 15 year old son, Matthew, to a Lake Michigan rip current in New Buffalo.

Since losing him, they have made a commitment to help others and have not stopped. They created the Matthew Kocher Foundation ( and work endlessly and unselfishly to help educate and promote water safety in the community to reduce and prevent loss of life.

Since Matt’s passing, through the Matthew Kocher Foundation, John and Kathy have:

  • Sponsored 75 Great Lakes Water Safety School Presentations to over 13,000 students
  • Awarded over $10,000 in Scholarships to benefit students who have demonstrated excellence in the classroom, in athletics, outstanding character, and leadership in the community.
  • Hosted Community Service Projects for over 600 participants (The Matt Kocher Games, Adopt-A-Road, Tinley Park Irish Parade, a Food Drive, and a Trim-A-Tree program)
  • Hosted its First Annual Matthew Kocher Memorial Golf Classic and Dinner

The Kocher’s recorded this video reflecting on the loss of their son and their dedication to advocate water safety in his memory ( On March 29th, John and Kathy Kocher also won the National Drowning Prevention Alliance’s (NDPA) “2016 Community Lifesaver of the Year” award.

Andy - Carter, Vickey, Steve Harvey 1

In 2003 Vicki Cech lost her son, Andy Fox, 17, in Lake Michigan rip current in Grand Haven. After his passing, Cech created the Beach Survivor Challenge. Its 13th Annual Challenge will be Saturday, June 18, 2016 at Grand Haven State Park.

In 2014, Cech received a NDPA Community Lifesaver of the Year award.  She was also featured on the Steve Harvey Show with Carter Oosterhouse for her water safety accomplishments in Grand Haven, MI.

John & Kathy Kocher
, Parents of Matthew Kocher and the 2016 NDPA Community Lifesaver of the Year Award winners

Vicki Cech, Mother of Andy Fox and the 2014 NDPA Community Lifesaver of the Year Award Winner

Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium’s Conference

Grand Haven Community Center
421 Columbus Avenue, Grand Haven, MI
Register Here

Friday, April 22, 2016 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Because there have been 446 fatal drowning statistics in the Great Lakes since 2010.