Unprecedented Event Addresses Childhood Drowning


Roxie’s Wish: Drowning Prevention Week for Children

Roxie Forbes who drowned at a summer camp in Altadena, California.

Meow Meow Foundation prevents childhood drowning and improves summer camp safety.

Childhood drowning is the leading cause of injury death for young children. This 7-part event is an educational and emotional journey toward prevention.

Preventable childhood drowning is ravaging the United States and the world. Join Meow Meow Foundation, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Michael Phelps Foundation and others in this fight.”

— Doug Forbes

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, USA, May 5, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Meow Meow Foundation presents a week-long event that will inform the nation about the vastly under-served and increasingly worsening issue of preventable childhood drowning.

Working with California Assemblyman Chris Holden, the Los Angeles-based foundation recently passed legislation that declares every third week of May in California, Roxie’s Wish: Drowning Prevention Week for Children. Using the same name, the event is in no way limited to the California market. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the inaugural production will be a virtual, video-driven 7-part series.

Political participants include Mayor Eric Garcetti who helms the nation’s second most populous city, the aforementioned Assemblyman Holden, Sen. Anthony Portantino, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Hilda Solis and features videos on drowning prevention stalwarts, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (MN) and Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (FL).

Famed Olympians Missy Franklin Johnson, Janet Evans, Lenny Krayzelburg, John Naber, Lia Neal and Maritza McClendon are lending their voices, in addition to surprise guest appearances.

Aquatics experts, NGOs, family foundations, community stakeholders, families and youth are also raising their voices from coast-to-coast. The production features approximately 100 contributor videos that support nightly episodes including:
• Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Aquatics
• Swimming Lessons & Water Safety
• Barriers, Rescues & Other Safety Resources
• Partnerships
• Lifeguards & Waterfronts
• Advocacy
• Celebration of Children

Meow Meow Foundation was launched in the wake of the high-profile preventable drowning death of 6-year-old Roxie Mirabelle Forbes at a recreational childcare facility in Altadena, California. Co-founded by Roxie’s parents, Doug Forbes and Elena Matyas, the foundation works tirelessly to address and eliminate this national safety emergency.

Forbes and Matyas have introduced several pieces of related legislation, including AB-768 (Holden) which affords drowning prevention policies and resources to 6+ million California students through the California Department of Education. The bill is supported by a variety of government agencies, Mayor Garcetti, the Michael Phelps Foundation and the American Academy of Pediatrics among others. The foundation expects to transition the measure into a federal bill within 2-3 years.

“We honor Roxie in her death as we did in her life,” said Forbes. “Childhood drowning must finally receive the attention it deserves since, on average, 5-6 U.S. children suffer from preventable fatal and nonfatal drownings every day. It’s the number one cause of injury-related death for children 1-4 and second for children 5-14. Black and Brown children drown five times more than their white peers. Enough is enough.”

“During our event, we will share stories of children because they must not be remembered as statistics,” Matyas said. “These were vibrant, hopeful, beautiful young lives robbed of their futures because adults have not yet been able to assemble a wholly effective response.”

One episode will be released each day for seven days beginning May 15. Roxie’s Wish will be available on the Meow Meow Foundation website, on its new YouTube channel dedicated to the event and its IGTV (Instagram TV) landing page @meowmeowfoundation2019.


Meow Meow Foundation exists due to the preventable drowning death of Roxie Mirabelle Forbes in June of 2019 at a recreational child care facility – otherwise known as a summer camp – in Altadena, California. The organization protects children with end-to-end drowning prevention and camp safety programming, including legislation, educational campaigns, speaking engagements, downloadable resources and events. Its camp safety awareness and educational programming is the only foundation-based, non-camp industry effort in the country. Contact doug@meowmeowfoundation.org or go to www.MeowMeowFoundation.org.

Doug Forbes
Meow Meow Foundation
+1 323-333-0384
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