Dominion Energy, YMCA Partner to Keep Young Swimmers Safe

7 September 2018

Hampton Roads, September 5, 2018 - When 11-year-old Anaya came to YMCA of South Hampton Roads Camp Red Feather this summer, she did not know how to swim. This meant a frustrating summer restricted to the shallow end as she watched her friends play in deeper water, and a very important life jacket as part of her swim gear. But thanks to swim lessons provided at the Y camp, a patient swim instructor and a donation from Dominion Energy, Anaya learned to swim and could take on the deep end with her friends by the end of the summer.

The donation from Dominion Energy will, over time, support about 900 swim sessions for children who may not have the opportunity to participate otherwise due to financial limitations.

Every day in the U.S., up to ten people die from accidental drowning. That statistic is even higher in coastal communities like Hampton Roads. In the last 10 years, 33 people have died from accidental drowning at oceanfront beaches in Virginia Beach and Norfolk.

“With all the bodies of water in our community, it’s as important as learning to ride a bike or cross the street safely. And when you think about swim lessons in Hampton Roads, you think about the YMCA,” said Tonya Byrd with Dominion Energy’s African American Employee Resource Group.

Byrd said the goal is to provide critical water safety skills to children from lower socioeconomic levels and minority ethnic groups who have the highest risk of accidental drowning, according to the World Health Organization. Because of these alarming statistics, Dominion Energy’s African-American Employee Resource Group (AARG) partnered with the YMCA of South Hampton Roads to help meet a mutual goal of both organizations; to provide swim lessons and personal water safety instructions to as many children as possible.

Swim lessons will be provided for children at various YMCA of South Hampton Roads locations, including the Y’s regional camps at YMCA Camp Arrowhead in Suffolk and YMCA Camp Red Feather in Norfolk. Annually, the YMCA of South Hampton Roads provides swim lessons and critical water safety skills to nearly 11,000 children. It is because of generous donors and partners, like Dominion Energy, that programs that teach crucial life skills, like swim lessons, can be provided to all, regardless of an individual’s financial situation.

For more information on how to stay safe in and around the water through YMCA swim lessons, visit the Y’s website at

The YMCA of South Hampton Roads is a nonprofit, community-based health and human services organization that serves over 250,000 children and families throughout Coastal Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina. More than 30% of those families receive financial assistance through the Open Doors program, whose funding is made available by the generosity of donors, helping them achieve their full potential in spirit, mind and body. The Y’s doors are open to people of all ages, backgrounds, abilities and incomes.

Nearly 6 million customers in 19 states energize their homes and businesses with electricity or natural gas from Dominion Energy (NYSE: D).  Through its Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, EnergyShare and other programs, the company plans to contribute more than $30 million in 2018 to community causes throughout its footprint. The foundation supports nonprofit causes that meet basic human needs, protect the environment, promote education and encourage community vitality. Please visit, Facebook or Twitter to learn more.