YMCA of South Florida’s BEACH BALL 2022
Nearly 400 guests gathered at the Intercontinental Miami to raise funds for water safety education and drowning prevention programs.
Nearly 400 guests from throughout South Florida gathered at the Intercontinental Miami to raise funds for water safety education and drowning prevention programs during the YMCA Beach Ball, 2022presented by Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. This was the YMCA of South Florida’s first in-person fundraising event since the pandemic.
More than $630,000 was raised for the YMCA’s Aquatic Financial Assistance Program, which provides swim lessons and water safety instruction to at-risk children in Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. With child drownings in Florida up by 44 percent last year, the most since 2009, and with Florida leading the country in child drownings of all ages, particularly in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, there is heightened need for awareness and water safety.
“It was incredibly inspiring to see so many in our community come out and support us after a two-year hiatus because of the pandemic,” said YMCA of South Florida President and CEO Sheryl A. Woods. “I think everyone in the room was touched by the stories they heard. Awareness brings action and that’s what we are here for at the Y. Our goal is to improve the community’s health and well-being by providing meaningful and impactful programs.”
Beach Ball 2022 kicked off with a message from Paloma Rospigliosi and Bastiaan Bicerne, two children from the Y, who reminded all adults that it is up to them to make sure all children are safe around water and know how to swim.
Rhonda and Dusty Milner and Milner, Inc. were recognized with this year’s Life Saver Award for their longtime support of the YMCA. Since their son passed away, drowning in their pool from Shallow Water Blackout, the Milners have worked steadily to bring awareness to the dangers of breath-holding through safety and prevention initiatives. Shallow Water Blackout is an underwater faint due to lack of oxygen to the brain brought on by holding one’s breath for long periods of time. Without immediate rescue, the swimmer quickly drowns. The Milners founded Shallow Water Blackout Prevention in an effort to prevent more senseless deaths.
“Through this tragedy, Rhonda and Dusty have been committed to drowning prevention, and we greatly appreciate their tremendous support and all that they have done to promote water safety,” said Woods. “Thanks to the Milners, and all our generous sponsors and donors of the Beach Ball, we will strengthen our communities, impacting the lives of thousands by teaching drowning prevention and water safety techniques.”
In addition to ticket sales and sponsors, funds were raised through the silent and spirited live auctions. Guests also enjoyed a unique Wine & Spirits Wall, delicious dinner and dancing to live musical entertainment.
The YMCA Beach Ball 2022 host committee included co-chairs Marilyn Pascual Caraballo and Ronald Caraballo, Arlene and Conrad Coke, Caridad and Alvaro Errazquin, Isabelle Fernandez, Niki Hinesley, Katherine Kessler, Derek Koger, Ana Nguyen and Michelle Young.
In addition to presenting sponsor Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, this year’s Beach Ball sponsors also included Brown & Brown Insurance Miami-Dade, Delta Air Lines, Publix Super Markets Charities, Bacardi, Related, Red Dot Miami/Spectrum Miami Art Fair, and others.
For more than 100 years, the Y has been dedicated to teaching swim lessons because formal swimming lessons reduce the likelihood of childhood drowning by 88 percent. During the year, 11,000 children and adults are taught drowning prevention and water safety techniques at the YMCA of South Florida. In total, 64 percent of African American, 45 percent of Hispanic/Latino and 40 percent of Caucasian children have little to no swimming ability, and for every child who loses their life to drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
To learn more about the YMCA of South Florida and its drowning prevention initiatives, visit.
About the YMCA of South Florida
The Y is a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Every day, the Y works hard to build healthy, confident, connected and secure children, adults, families and communities through over 200 afterschool, preschool, special needs, sports, camp and youth programs, family centers, and senior health outreach sites. To learn more, visit, connect on Facebook or Twitter, or call a Y near you.