Saturday, April 29, 2017

• Water Safety Awareness 5K Recap

This event was several months in the making, and it was spearheaded by Wildomar resident Jodi Pesicka along with Toni Bravo-Rousseau. Both of these brave women are the mothers of children that survived near drownings.
You'd never imagine the amount of time, prep work, sweat and worry that goes into an event that is less than two hours from the public's point of view... unless you've done something similar yourself.
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The event was named after Jodi's daughter Justine Lee: The Justine Lee Pesicka Memorial Foundation Water Safety Awareness 5k Run/Walk. 
Here are the two shirts that were seen at the 5K. The black and purple one was worn by the volunteers and staff. The white with blue lettering was worn by the runners.

Justine died in 2013 at the age of 24, more than 20 years after the incident that forever changed the Pesicka family's lives.

Toni's seven year old daughter Summer is in hospice, though she was brought out to Marna O'Brien park to be at the event, she faces many challenges daily, and needs round the clock care.
Toni Bravo-Rousseau, Robin Dixon, Jodi Pesicka and Summer.
According to WHO, in the United States: drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death in children aged 1-14 years.

It's as silent as it is avoidable, and Jodi and Toni want to get the word out to parents and caregivers of children to not take their child's safety around water lightly. 

It only takes a moment for a drowning to occur, and the damage lasts a lifetime... if the child lives at all.
Toni Bravo-Rousseau, in the black shirt, looks at one of the exhibits that showed many near drowning survivors. The names of the survivors, and the number of years since their near drownings goes as follows. From Left to Right at the top: Ashleigh (11); Isaiah (7); Joey (10) ; Ivan (1); Owen (6) ; Damion (17); Summer (6); Angelina (4). Down the right side: Blake (2); Gabriel (3); Aiden (6). From left to right on the bottom: Adam (19); Bradley (25); Harper (2); Kurt (16); Matthew (4); Lucy (2). Down the left side: Noah (1); Niel (18).   

Water Safety Awareness was the point of the event. Though it was also a chance for the community to get together and have a great morning too. 

It was a good showing for a inaugural 5K. There were more than 75 timed runners, and about half that many walkers.
The first finisher, Mario Trujillo of Lake Elsinore, made the run in 18:03.

The snack bar was dispensing free Go-Nutz donuts, bananas, coffee, water and other things. There were also many different vendors and exhibit booths to visit. Take a look at the promotional video that THINK Together from Wildomar Elementary did for this event. It's as informational as it is cute.
All the money raised from the event will be going to help pay for infant float lessons for families that can't afford them. 
One family made the run in good time, and still had the energy to give a thumbs up.

Please visit the facebook page for more information about the foundation or where to get local infant float lessons. Just leave a message and you're sure to get a timely response.
Link to The Justine Lee Pesicka Memorial Foundation FaceBook Page
Jodi and Toni were grateful for the tireless efforts of many different volunteers. Also key were the Wildomar Rotary and the Elks. Thing about volunteers, they don't do it for the recognition, but for the value of being a service to others, so no one is getting named here. ☺
•          •          •

The only reason I started swimming was for water safety. Then, once I started falling in love with sports, I got more comfortable with it.

– Michael Phelps   

Wildomar Rap was glad to be a part of this event. 

3 comments:

  1. I continue to appreciate the community service you do by reporting on these events. To be off topic, I'm looking at the 2017 Wildomar calendar and May features your photo. For the first time I noticed the expression in the faces of the young women on the BMX platform as the cyclist reaches apogee in front of them. Nice photo.

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