About The Katelyn Foundation
Ask any parent and they will tell you, as they beam with pride, that they see something special in their child. There is an innate innocence, gentle curiosity, loving spirit and naivety in our children. Katelyn Michaud was one of those special children.
When Katelyn was born, she was a blessing to her 3 year-old sister Alexandra and her parents Sandra and Sean. It was clear from the start that little Katelyn was a special child. She was full of energy and absolutely loved life.
Her life was tragically cut short just one month after her 2nd birthday to a swimming pool accident on January 27, 2004. Since the loss of precious Katelyn, her mom, family and friends have dedicated themselves to creating something positive in her memory and have launched The Katelyn Foundation. It’s purpose is to protect our children and families through education and public awareness on water safety and other risks to children.
About Sandra Testo-Michaud
Sandra is the founder of The Katelyn Foundation (www.katelynfoundation.org) in honor of her daughter Katelyn T. Michaud. At the age of 2, Katelyn drowned in her backyard pool on January 27, 2004. Through community fundraisers and generous donors, The Katelyn Foundation is able to provide swim lessons to children whose families cannot afford the fee. This is achieved through a program called "Katelyn's Aquarium", which includes lessons through local YMCA's & Recreation Centers in Pasco, Pinellas & Hernando Counties. In 2011, "Katelyn's Aquarium" will be available in Citrus & Hillsborough Counties. The motto for the program is "Learning how to swim is a necessity, not a luxury!". Last summer over 400 children (ages 6 months to 12 years old) learned how to swim. A special swim program for the deaf & hard of hearing was also provided at the New Port Richey Aquatic Center.
Sandra also promotes "The Designated Child Watcher Program" in an effort to increase pool safety awareness.
Sandra is very active with SAFE kids and is on the Pool Safety committee. She has also partnered with poolsafely.gov to become a Pool Safely Campaign Safety Leader.
Along with being involved with numerous organizations, Sandra received a Proclamation from her home town Mayor, Scott McPherson, in April of 2009 and April of 2010 for National Drowning Prevention Month. Sandra has also received the "Service Above Self" award in 2009 from Keystone Rotary Club and 2010 from Trinity Rotary Club "by working diligently to make free swim lessons available for young children at risk of drowning". In March of 2010 Sandra won the nomination for "Woman of Distinction" by Suntrust Bank.
Sandra became a Certified Swim Instructor in the summer of 2010 and in the fall of 2010 the official pool builder of Extreme Homemaker: Home Edition donated a pool in her backyard so Sandra can teach "free" swim lessons in her own backyard.
In the summer of 2010 The Katelyn Foundation won Outstanding Youth Organization Award from the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce.
It is evident that Sandra made a decision during her personal tragedy to honor Katelyn by moving forward ~ for her family, community and herself, in a positive, valuable way.