Teacher, Disabled Veteran Receive Free Fence from Pool Safety Program

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 Laveen family wins eighth of 10 free pool fence installations from Fulton Homes

TEMPE, Ariz. – Oct. 14, 2020 – Danielle Wilhelmy and her husband Mark Ortiz were named the eighth winners of the 2020 Fulton Homes Fence Patrol contest in partnership with KMLE Country 107.9 FM radio. The couple had their pool fence installed Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, ensuring their three children will not be a drowning statistic.

The couple moved into their new home a little over a year ago. The Laveen family, with their children—all under the age of five—had been saving up to afford all the repairs from the closing of their new home, but fell short on resources.

“Buying a foreclosed home that has with much needed repairs, including $15,000 for the pool alone, our financing fell short of including a fence,” Wilhelmy said. “Receiving the pool fence from Fulton Homes’ Fence Patrol program will allow not only allow our kids to be safe around water, it will also benefit my husband—who is a disabled veteran with back issues.”

Ortiz, who served two tours in Iraq, suffered injuries during his four years with the Marines. Wilhelmy is a third grade teacher at Encanto Elementary School.

The family pool takes up most of the backyard. The lack of a pool fence has been looming over the parents’ heads, as the patio door is mere steps from the pool and the family’s eldest child is able to reach the door lock.

“Fulton homes recognizes the importance of feeling safe in your own home—regardless of the condition in which it was purchased—especially when considering children and water,” said Doug Fulton, CEO of Fulton Homes. “A fence is only a barrier and we believe it is greater mechanism for safety when additional steps like swimming lessons and CPR certifications are incorporated. That said, we are happy be part of the process and thrilled it goes to the family of a teacher and a military war veteran.”  

The Fulton Homes Fence Patrol program is conducted in partnership with KMLE 107.9 and Ironman Pool Fence. Together, Fulton Homes and KMLE 107.9 will provide a total of 10 free pool safety fences for Valley families in need who may not be able to afford them. Fence giveaways took place each week for 10 weeks. The public self-nominated and submitted essay-style entries on why they were deserving of a pool fence by visiting KMLE 1079.com and clicking on the Fence Patrol icon.

In its 18th year, Fence Patrol is one of several water-safety-related initiatives Fulton Homes supports.  The Tempe-based homebuilder also sponsors the “2 Seconds Is Too Long” campaign, which raises awareness about watching children around the pool, and gives away free swim lessons. Over the last 20 years, Fulton Homes has invested more than $2.5 million on water safety in the Valley.

According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of death for children under four years of age in Arizona, where children drown at twice the national rate. Fence Patrol comes at a crucial time, as 121 water-related incidents have occurred in Maricopa and Pinal Counties so far this year, including 42 deaths (12 being children), according to the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona.

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