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Their staff is trained and their goals align with the MaxStrong Memorial Fund's original vision - to teach as many children how to swim as possible with in our community to reduce the likelihood of drowning.  Learning to swim is an individual process during which certified Y swim instructors evaluate each child's comfort level and swimming skills, proving instructions personalized to his/her needs according to the YMCA of the USA's.  Annually, it is the intent of the MaxStrong Swim Program to provide "traditional swim lessons" as defined by the YMCA-SHR - 2 per week for 4 weeks, for a total of 8 sessions.  The Swimming Program is about swimming, but it is also about the Y's core values of caring, honesty, respect, responsibility and faith, giving these children skills that will last a lifetime.  Max's legacy continues to grow with each lesson and life saved.

Since we established the MaxStrong Memorial Fund, we know that collaboration; hard work and commitment has created this wonderful annual event dedicated to helping the children of our community by providing financial assistance to hundreds of children who NEED to learn how to swim.

Together, we are making a difference, Saving Lives by Teaching Life Lessons.

Mission: The MaxStrong Memorial Fund serves our community by ensuring that our children stay save in the water by learning to swim.

The MaxStrong Memorial Fund was established in 2013 in honor of our son's memory, Max Salzman a young man who died on April 24, 2013 of a tragic car accident.  Growing up in Norfolk Max loved sports and was a gifted athlete.  He was the kind of kid who wanted everyone included.  Swimming in his back year pool and at the community pool, he was never too big to play with children who didn't have his same abilities.  Everyone wanted to be on Max's team when they were playing.  Everyone wanted to hang out with Max, and his big heart had room for them all.

As a living memory to Max, his family wanted to establish something in his name that would represent Max's kind heart and willingness to help others.  That summer, we created a fund through the annual giving campaign at the Y on Granby, a location of the YMCA of South Hampton Roads, that ensured traditional swim lessons would be provided to Norfolk children who did not have the financial mean to pay.

This was only the beginning.  For 3 years, with the support of our family, friends and the community at large, together we raised money to support the Y on Granby's annual giving campaign - raising funds through the MaxStrong Memorial Fund supporting teaching as many children how to swim as possible within the our community helping to reduce the likelihood of drowning.

On April 7, 2015, MaxStrong Memorial Fund officially was established as a corporation.  On May 28, 2015, the official

501(c)(3), non-profit status from the IRS was achieved, another major achievement that validates the MaxStrong Memorial Fund's approach and fundraising efforts in our community to the longevity and success of our organization,  representing Max's kindness and willingness to make his community better and as a strong swimmer - support a swimming program makes the perfect sense.


Did you know that every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning?

  • And, of these 10, two are children aged 14 or younger.
  • Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States.
  • The fatal drowning rate of African American children ages 5 to 14 is almost three times that of white children in the same age range.

It is the goal of the  MaxStrong Memorial Fund to service as many children as possible in our community by providing funding for:

  • swim lesson,
  • personal water safety instruction,
  • proper use of various flotation devices,
  • and water movement education,

and most importantly, possibly save a child's life.

Because the Hampton Roads region, especially Norfolk, is surrounded by water and one death by drowning, is one too many, partnering with the YMCA of South Hampton Roads made sense.  They have the track record and the ability to teach swim lessons.