In April, the Statesboro community was shaken with the loss of Mariah Jackson. Nicknamed Tweety Bird, 4-year-old Mariah died at Memorial Health Children’s Hospital in Savannah after a swimming pool accident.
Statesboro Police Department Officer Arion Waters was one of those responding to the scene on that day, and the event impacted him enough that he, along with other members of the SPD, wanted to do something to honor Mariah — and "Mariah’s Water Safety Day" was born.
Jointly sponsored by the SPD, Splash in the Boro and Feed the Boro, the event was held July 7 at Luetta Moore Park for children between the ages of 3 and 12 who live in Bulloch County. What started as a way to help local children learn to swim became a community day, during which parents and children learned about the dangers of being near water and how to be prepared.
Children who attended were able to participate in a water safety course with swim instructors from Splash in the Boro, and learned how to properly wear a life jacket, and how to safely enter and exit a pool. Swimsuits, goggles and other donated gear were given away as well.
There was also plenty of time to just have fun and enjoy the water, as well as enjoy refreshments provided by Feed the Boro and other local sponsors.