Apr
04
2012

WASHINGTON, DC–At the start of Alcohol Awareness Month, The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, a national not-for-profit funded by distillers, dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking, has officially announced its partnership with USA Swimming, the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States. The partnership is a key component of outreach efforts to encourage parents and middle-school aged kids to “say ‘YES’ to a healthy lifestyle and ‘NO’ to underage drinking.”   

“USA Swimming’s membership is filled with disciplined and self-determined individuals, which naturally drives these swimmers to become incredible role models for their peers,” said Matt Farrell, Chief Marketing Officer of USA Swimming. “We’re excited about the partnership with The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility as we believe together we can reach a significant portion of involved parents and USA Swimming members to help steer youth in the direction of making healthy choices.”

As part of the partnership, The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility will showcase the Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix program at USA Swimming’s Aqua Zone held June 25th through July 2nd in Omaha, Nebraska during the US Swimming Team Trials. One of the most widely distributed alcohol education programs of its kind in the nation; Ask, Listen, Learn empowers parents and kids with information about the dangers of underage drinking and ways to say no to alcohol.  The Aqua Zone expects in excess of 60,000 guests over the eight day event, not including the thousands more reached through social media networks, and is an ideal venue reinforcing this healthy lifestyle message.

In addition to on-site activation around the Ask, Listen, Learn program, The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility is working closely with Debbie Phelps, the proud “swim mom” of three elite-level swimmers. Ms. Phelps, a highly regarded educator with more than three decades of teaching and administrative experience, understands the parental and educational dedication it takes to help guide youth in making good decisions. Author of A Mother for All Seasons, Ms. Phelps will host a special Q&A session during U.S. Swim Trials for parents and coaches to address the importance of caregivers engaging in an open dialogue with kids about the risks of underage drinking and understanding the significant role they have on influencing youth.

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility has partnered with Olympic gold medalist swimmers Rebecca Soni and U.S. Paralympic National Team swimmer Mallory Weggemann to act as Ambassadors for the Ask, Listen, Learn program. As exemplary role models, Soni and Weggemann will appear at the Aqua Zone to share their story of success with kids and parents alike and will sign autographs. Weggemann will be featured in the Ask, Listen, Learn “Superstar Challenge” where she’ll see if speed skater Apolo Ohno, the most decorated U.S. Winter Olympian in history, has what it takes to get through her pool workout as she prepares to compete in London.  Weggemann’s “Superstar Challenge” footage will be released in June. 

"We're proud to work with USA Swimming to reach this already active community," said Ralph Blackman, President and CEO of The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility. "We encourage parents to talk with their kids early and often about the risks and consequences of underage drinking.  Our partnership with USA Swimming creates a powerful platform for young people to learn about the importance of saying ‘YES’ to a healthy lifestyle and ‘NO’ to underage drinking."

About The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility
The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, is a national not-for-profit leader in the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking and is funded by the following distillers: Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Beam, Inc.; Brown-Forman; Constellation Brands, Inc.; DIAGEO; Hood River Distillers, Inc.; and Pernod Ricard USA. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility promotes responsible decision making regarding beverage alcohol and develops and implements innovative programs and public awareness campaigns which ignite action through strategic partnerships. Established in 1991, The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility’s initiatives are highlighted on its website at www.responsibility.org and www.asklistenlearn.org.

About USA Swimming

As the National Governing Body for competitive swimming in the United States, USA Swimming formulates the rules, implements policies and procedures, conducts national championships, disseminates safety and sports medicine information and selects athletes to represent the United States in international competition. USA Swimming has more than 300,000 members nationwide and sanctions more than 7,000 events each year. For more information, visit www.usaswimming.org.

Contact: 
Jessica Lepak, The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility
LepakJ@responsibility.org or (202) 637-0077
Karen Linhart, USA Swimming
klinhart@usaswimming.org or (719) 866-3588