Charity working to place free life jackets at Arizona lakes

May 23, 2014, 12:14 PM | Updated: 12:15 pm

PHOENIX — A Valley woman is on a mission to make Arizona lakes safer one life jacket at a time.

“In 2008, I lost my 21-year-old nephew, Ryan Thomas, in a drowning accident at Saguro lake,” said Shannon Liebrock. “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him and think about the fact that a life jacket would have saved his life.”

The Arizona State University student was with five friends the day of the accident. They were relatively close to shore. He wanted to cool off and jumped into the lake. Despite that he had been swimming since infancy, Ryan never resurfaced.

It was after the accident that Liebrock embarked on a journey to keep his memory alive. She helped establish the Ryan Thomas Foundation.

“This program has become his legacy,” she said. “We want to continue to his legacy of generosity and kindness. He really was a great kid and he’s terribly missed.”

The organization’s mission is to raise drowning awareness. Liebrock has also been working with Arizona Game and Fish to install life jacket kiosks at every state lake so any lake-goer will have the opportunity to borrow a life jacket for the day.

Initially, two kiosks will be installed at Lake Pleasant by July 4 then the goal is to expand the program.

“I think Ryan would love what we are doing,” said Liebrock.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Pixabay Stock Photos)...

2 students arrested after gun found at West Valley elementary school

Two 13-year-old students at a West Valley elementary school were arrested Thursday after a gun was found on campus, authorities said.
11 hours ago
Roger Alexander (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)...

Suspect arrested in baseball bat beating of javelina in Surprise

A video posted of a wild animal being attacked by a man with a baseball bat led to an animal cruelty arrest in the West Valley, authorities said.
11 hours ago
(Getty Images Photos)...

Beck, French band Phoenix bringing co-headline tour to Footprint Center

Eight-time Grammy-winning artist Beck and Grammy-winning French band Phoenix are scheduled to appear at Footprint Center on Aug. 11.
11 hours ago
(Wikimedia Commons Photo)...

Scottsdale police say 2 more cars targeted with Molotov cocktails

Police in Scottsdale said Thursday two more cars were targeted with Molotov cocktails in the past week, bringing the total to four in January.
11 hours ago
Sarah de Carvalh, CEO of It's a Penalty. (Photo by Brittany Murray/Getty Images)...
Colton Krolak

Survivor, advocates bring awareness to human trafficking prevention in Arizona

A survivor and advocates in Arizona discussed how to spot signs and be better educated during national Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
11 hours ago
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)...
Kevin Stone

Here’s what Valley economists say about possible Phoenix housing market plunge

Local economists are saying a recent report projecting a 2008-like plunge in the Phoenix housing market is no reason to panic.
11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
Charity working to place free life jackets at Arizona lakes