NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Recreation Development Foundation will be receiving financial support from local business leaders that will be used to increase access to public pools in the New Orleans community, and especially youth, during the summer months of 2024. Cox Communications, T. Parker Host, the Helis Foundation and RWE have provided a total of $85,000 that will be used to provide salary increases for lifeguards for next summer.
“The NOLA Coalition recognizes that supporting our youth is the foundation of a better city for all,” said Michael Hecht, president and CEO of Greater New Orleans Inc. “With this in mind, we salute these local organizations that are generously giving to help NORD secure more lifeguards, and thus provide better access to pools in 2024.”
This business and civic support will help to attract, hire and retain more lifeguards, which has been a challenge nationwide. While NORD was able to open eleven pools throughout the city in 2023, an increase from seven in 2022, each pool opened on a rotating basis. More lifeguards will translate to more pools being open for more hours in 2024.
“NORD is proud to partner with the NOLA Coalition and these local companies to help support our local youth, and families we serve, said Larry Barabino Jr., CEO of the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission. “These funds will help NORD hire and retain more lifeguards, ensuring more pools are open for longer hours in the hot summer months of 2024.”
The NOLA Coalition remains committed to making significant and sustained business and philanthropic investment in proven community-based youth service organizations, to help them grow their impact and drive generational change. Nearly $6 million has been raised from the civic community of greater New Orleans.
“Cox is proud to support the work of GNO, Inc. to provide lifeguards at NORD pools as summer activities are crucial to a child’s overall well being,” said Anthony Pope, senior vice president and region manager of Cox. “It’s important to Cox that every child in New Orleans has access to fun and safe recreational activities to develop important social and emotional skills and to create lifelong memories as they prepare for the upcoming school year.”
“The Helis Foundation is pleased to support GNO Inc’s incredible effort to provide increased access to safe pools across the City, where children and their families will thrive,” said David Kerstein, president of the Helis Foundation. “By providing the necessary resources to cool off in the hottest days of summer, spend time together, and learn lifelong water safety skills, this exciting collaboration will undoubtedly contribute to our community’s wellbeing, health – and fun – next summer.”
Individual donations to the initiative are accepted, and can be made directly online.