Drennen's Dreams Foundation

With years of providing education and training to aquatic organizations, managers and lifeguards, about the importance of practicing proper water safety procedures to prevent drowning, we are now expanding - to educate the public about DROWNING PRVENTION. Thank you for donating to support our work!

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General Information

Official Name
Drennens Dreams Foundation​​​​​​​
DBA/Trade Name(s)
Former Name(s)
Date Established
Offers Additional Colorado State Tax Credit
Tax ID
Headquarters Address
Colorado Location
Mailing Address
9615 E. County Line Rd. Ste B585
Centennial, CO 80112
Other Address
Main Phone Number
Voice Calls Only
Fax Number
Other Phone Number
Voice Calls Only
Social Media Links

Mission Statement

Our Mission - is to honor Drennen's legacy by emphasizing the importance of high safety standards for lifeguards, pool management, and aquatics facilities.

Our Vision - is to educate, train, and support our communities in Colorado, and across the country, by increasing the awareness about the importance of practicing the proper water safety procedures to help prevent drowning.

Two main initiatives:
• Providing education, in-service, and on-going training in: safety, supervision, prevention, aquatics staff development, and best practices.
• Developing partnerships to help fund and promote health, wellness, and the importance of education others about water safety awareness.

Organization History

Drennen's Dreams Foundation is a National Drowning Prevention and Water Safety 501(C)(3) non-profit.

At the age of 12 years old, Drennen O'Melia was the victim of a tragic drowning accident. In his memory, the Drennen's Dreams Foundation was formed.

Our Foundation exists to promote drowning prevention and water safety and we aim to ensue that there are no more unnecessary deaths due to the lack of sufficient training of lifeguards, the lack of monitoring and understanding the use of life-saving medical equipment, and/or the mismanagement of pool facilities.

Our Foundation works with many private and nonprofit organizations with pools, water parks, and waterfronts, to reinforce accountability standards and to ensure that lifeguards know how to implement their training. We help lifeguards understand what is truly at stake while they are on duty- the lives of others.

Most importantly we inspire their confidence and vigilance while on duty. We also help aquatics managers understand their obligations regarding implementing the proper policies, procedures and emergency action plans. As wells as, in-service training and equipment training.

For facility owners and operators, we educate them on water activity risk management. And, we teach them how to fully understand the importance of oversight, responsibility, and accountability of patron safety, and fun.

Each year our Foundation facilitates approximately 50-100 presentations to lifeguards, aquatics managers, and facility owners and operators in the greater Denver Metro Area, the Rocky Mountain Region, and Nationwide.

Additionally, we offer resources for pediatricians to share with families, hospitals, and others, the importance of the prevention of drowning and the need for ensuring water safety.

July, 2021, in a live interview with FOX31 Denver, Bill O'Melia spoke about the importance of water safety procedures and awareness to prevent drowning. The Drennen's Dreams Foundation was featured in the promotion of the first ever World Drowning Prevention Day.

Featured in the 'Not On Your Watch' American Red Cross training video, our informational video presentations are available for purchase. Our videos have been utilized by aquatics organizations throughout the United States and Canada.

Annually, we reach between 250,000-350,000 lifeguards.

Drennen's Dreams Foundation supports the training provided by Jeff Ellis Corporation and other aquatics certified organizations. Presenting in front of clubs, civic organization's, departments of Parks and Recreation, and many other organizations and businesses, our Foundation is in front of communities across locally and across the country.

In 2012 Bill and Melissa, with help and input from friends, funded the Drennen's Dreams Fund, a donor-advised fund housed at The Denver Foundation. They saw the spark in the community that had helped create the D'Zone and believed that it could be harnessed for greater good. The community had their first fundraising event, the SplashDash 5k Run, on June 9, 2013. Over 450 runners participated. The Fund made donations to the Bereavement Program at Colorado Children's Hospital for Aurora Shooting Victims/Families as well as Littleton Public Schools Foundation.
The Fund was able to give $10,000 to local and national organizations in 2013 including:
Mile High Chapter of the American Red Cross
National Swimming Pool Foundation
National Drowning Prevention Alliance and its local affiliate the Colorado Drowning Prevention Task Force
The D'Zone youth center operated by St. Timothy's Episcopal Church and named after Drennen
Littleton Youth Sports
Littleton Public Schools Foundation

After the O'Melia's were invited to share Drennen's story with several aquatics organizations the opportunity to focus on drowning prevention and water safety evolved.

Our drive and compassion for the importance of pool safety procedures and awareness honors the memory of the O'Melia's son, Drennen, who at 12-years-old drowned in a guarded pool. This tragic death illuminated the critical need for education around pool and water safety.

Donations to Drennen's Dreams Foundation fund the educational presentations and martials that we offer free to the public. Our presentations and videos reach hundreds of thousands of lifeguard and aquatics professionals, which in turn affect millions of families.


Drennen's story is one that every lifeguard, lifeguard manager and facility owner/operator should know and take to heart. We are honored that the O'Melia family has allowed us to help tell his story through our Lifeguarding and Lifeguard Management training courses. There is no doubt that Drennen's Dreams is making a significant impact in helping drive home the huge responsibility of those charged with protecting others in and around the water.
Connie Harvey
American Red Cross

We train, talk, and reinforce the seriousness of lifeguards' jobs over and over, but nothing we could say, or have ever said, could have the impact on them that your presentation did.
Kim Hendeson
Aquatics Manager, Apex Park & Recreation District

We met Bill O'Melia from Drennen's Dreams Foundation at the February 2019 Association of Aquatics Professionals Conference in Texas. I want our lifeguards to understand the seriousness of their job. By allowing us to tell Drennen's story to them as well as those who come into our facility we can raise awareness and make sure it not only doesn't happen at our facility, but others as well. The lifeguards at each of our three facilities will be trained to share the story of a child who has drowned in a lifeguarded pool. They will also share what could have been done to prevent their drowning. Lifeguards at our facility will all have pins they are creating reading, "Ask me about Drennen". This way they can educate our patrons throughout the summer and remain aware of how absolutely crucial their focus is when they are on the job. We will also have big jars each facility will create as a team to raise money for each foundation or scholarship fund. At the end of the summer we will donate the money to the foundation and send you a video where they will reflect and describe how it went throughout the summer. Thank you for taking the time to talk to me at the conference and for sharing Drennen's story.
Jessica Anson
Branchwood Aquatics Manager, Bella Vista, AR

It's been a personal pleasure to watch the Drennen's Dreams Foundation grow to the community pillar and it is now. The annual 5K is the highlight of the summer for our neighborhood and it is remarkably well-organized and supported by sponsors. The organization is exemplary in its use of media and staying focused on its mission; no surprise given the leadership and character represented on its Board. DDF quietly represents fearless determination, intensive pursuit of goals and perseverance based on overt, unqualified faith in the human spirit. The organization uplifts the spirits of and motivates everyone it touches. Including Drennen's Dreams in Colorado Gives Day as an emerging Colorado nonprofit will foster a win/win for all.
Mike Hanbery
Marketing professional, past candidate for Centennial City Council

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