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

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Water Safety Funding Disconnected – #GivingTuesday the Difference

Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
Dave Benjamin, Executive Director,

Water Safety Funding is Disconnected 

#GivingTuesday could make the difference

for Great Lakes Water Safety 

Gates Foundation Matching Donations 

While there are millions of dollars to protect the Great Lakes

There is minimal funding to protect people from the Great Lakes 

GREAT LAKES, USA – While the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative continues to receive a healthy $300 million per year to fund programs that protect the Great Lakes from pollution, runoff, invasive species and declining wildlife habitats, in comparison, water safety initiatives around the Great Lakes continues to receive minimal funding to protect people from the water.

“We love the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, but unfortunately we must acknowledge 622 people have drowned in the Great Lakes since 2010,” said Dave Benjamin GLSRP Executive Director. (Full statistics). “It’s important to protect the Great Lakes, but it’s also important to protect people from the Great Lakes hazards.”

“In addition, the Great Lakes are a multi-billion dollar industry for the Great Lakes states – Each year millions are spent in advertising and restoration projects designed to bring more people to water with billions of dollars in return.  So I have to ask where’s the money for Great Lakes public water safety education and lifeguards on all beaches?” (Here are some examples of the millions spent to bring people to the Great Lakes here.)

With minimal funding opportunities available, the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project is hoping that #GivingTuesday will be able to provide funding so it can continue its services for years to come.

“We really do need you,” Benjamin said. “Your support is what keeps the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project going.”

“Without supporters, Great Lakes drownings may go uncounted.  Great Lakes water safety school presentations may not exist.  Families of Great Lakes drowning victims may lose a valuable resource to advocate water safety. And Open Water Surf Lifeguard Training may not be available to beaches with lifeguards while more lifeguard programs on the Great Lakes may be terminated.”

People can donate to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project at 7 a.m. CST on #GivingTuesday at the links below.

Also beginning at 7:00 a.m. CST, the donations received may be matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

  1. GLSRP Facebook Page:
  2. Dave Benjamin’s Fundraising Page.
  3. Bob Pratt’s Fundraiser Page:
  4. Christine Forystek’s Fundraiser (Mother of Cory McFry, 15):
  5. Pat Benjamin’s GLSRP Fundraiser:
  6. Faith Hoekstra’s Fundraiser Page:


The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, Inc. (GLSRP) is a nonprofit 501c3 corporation that is about saving lives. Nonprofit Tax ID Number: 45-5616079 


  1. Tracks the Great Lakes drowning statistics (622+ drownings since 2010)
  2. Performs “Great Lakes Water Safety” presentations and trainings (Over 485 in 7 of the 8 Great Lakes states since 2011)
  3. Works with family and friends of Great Lakes drowning victims to advocate water safety.
  4. Hosts Open Water Surf Lifeguard Training and First Responder In-service Training

Mission: To eradicate drownings by being the leader of Great Lakes water safety by providing training, public preparedness, and public awareness.

Vision: Everyone in the Great Lakes region, nationwide and worldwide, is knowledgeable, engaged and proactive in water safety with an emphasis on the Great Lakes region.


  1. WGN Chicago’s Very Own segment, “Man makes water safety education his life’s passion”
  2. Dave Benjamin’s drowning accident and ‘Because I said I would’ water safety promise video
  3. John & Kathy Kocher’s “Gentle Giant” ‘Because I said I would promise video.

Like GLSRP’s Facebook Page
Follow GLSRP on Twitter @ripcurrentsafeT