Friends of the Foundation

The Foundation would like to thank our corporate friends who lend their support in numerous ways:


The Wild Dolphin Project has named one of the dolphins under its watch in the Bahamas "Benjo." To learn about this Project click here





When Benjo was eleven years old he went to Camp Abnaki in North Hero, Vermont, a superior model of a YMCA camp run by the Burlington, VT YMCA. It was at this camp where he first experienced the sheer beauty of Lake Champlain while being exposed to sailing for the first time and thus became the beginning of a lifetime passion.

Camp Abnaki provides us with opportunities to educate their camp's staff about the dangers of prolonged breath holding. And last year they included us front and center in the live WCAX interview at their Burlington pool during Water Safety Month in May. For information about the Camp click here




Vasa, Inc., is the company behind the Vasa Trainer and Vasa Swim Ergometer, both widely used by competitive swimmers, swim coaches and triathletes in the United States and around the world. It was founded in 1988 by Rob Sleamaker, who happens to be Dean Haller's neighbor.

It was due to Benjo's father, Dean, and several of his friends' newly created Foundation devoted to Shallow Water Blackout awareness and prevention that compelled Rob to learn more about it.  On the national Shallow Water Blackout Prevention (SWBP) web site, there was a CNN news video with Sanjay Gupta, M.D. and Rhonda Milner, M.D.,  founder of the SWBP organization. Rob watched that interview and learned that SWB is easily preventable if people understand the dangers.  Since he and his company, Vasa, had been involved with competitive swimming for 25 years, he wondered if there was something he could do to increase awareness of SWB in that community. Continue reading






The Vermont Recreation and Parks Association (VRPA) has been a significant and gracious supporter of the Foundation in numerous ways and it has helped us expand our reach by exposing us to all of its members throughout Vermont. As a Commercial Member of the Association we have been featured in the VRPA's newsletters and last year we were given a prominent location as an exhibitor at their Annual Conference, which we we will be attending again this year. This summer we will be making numerous presentations about Shallow Water Blackout to its members whose facilities are located near water. We will also be given another opportunity to spread our message with an article about Shallow Water Blackout in its summer newsletter. 

To learn more about the VRPA  click here




Dr. Lewis First, M.D., M.S., Chairman and Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Vermont has always made himself available whenever a request to meet has been extended and his medical perspective has helped us formulate our message about Shallow Water Blackout.  In the spring of 2015 we approached Dr. First about the possibility of dedicating one of his highly regarded First With Kids weekly videos on WPTZ to Shallow Water Blackout and he readily agreed it was a worthy topic to expose.  To watch Dr. First's video click here.

 To learn more about Dr. First click here