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How to Host a Pool Party with a Purpose

Pool Party with a Purpose - Cannonball!

Have you heard about Summer Smile Splash? If not, it’s Operation Smile’s latest fundraising campaign and SwimWays is the sponsor! It’s a fun way to get your family and friends involved with a wonderful cause that’s close to your heart and the hearts of many more. Since 1982, Operation Smile has provided 220,000 free surgical procedures for children and young adults around the world. The organization has a mobilized force of more than 5,400 medical volunteers from more than 80 countries who donate their time and talents, providing safe and effective surgeries.

Did you know that just $240 can help provide a cleft lip or cleft palate surgery? Host a ‘Pool Party with a Purpose’ to spread awareness and raise surgery funds for Operation Smile so they can help even more children born with cleft lip or cleft palate. Simply visit the Summer Smile Splash web page to register your event and get started.

Event planning skills need a little help? Check out our tips so you can throw an amazing pool party!


If you have a swimming pool in your backyard that’s all you need to host the perfect Pool Party with a Purpose! If you don’t have access to a residential pool, contact your local community pool to book a location for your event. Some condominium associations allow pool party bookings – you could even check in with your local recreation center.


Once you have your venue selected it’s time to let others know about your event. Don’t forget to keep the amount of attendees manageable!

  • Use the invitations in the Summer Smile Splash digital toolkit.
  • Email invitations to your friends and contacts.
  • Get social and create an “Invite Only” Facebook event.
  • Want to draw a big crowd? Let people know in your invitation about any special entertainment you may have. This is also a great place to ask about any food allergies or special accommodations that need to be made.
  • Don’t forget to tell your guests to bring towels, any necessary swim aids, and sunblock!


Now that you have your RSVPs it’s time to plan the most important element – food and drink! Keeping your attendees refreshed and nourished will ensure energy remains high throughout the day. Bottled water, pitchers of tea or lemonade, chips, trail or nut mixes, and even light sandwiches will keep everyone happy. Don’t forget the condiments! If you have a little more in your budget consider barbequing or hiring a caterer. Be sure not to use any containers, plates or glasses that are easily breakable poolside.


Be sure to keep lots of extra supplies on hand for forgetful guests. They’ll appreciate fresh towels and sunblock that they may have forgotten to grab as they were leaving the house.


Do you have adequate seating for your guest list? Position lounge chairs, benches and beach chairs around the pool and in shaded areas for sun breaks, sun and patio umbrellas will also be appreciated!


Think summer! Decorate your poolside area with bright colors. Dress up your dining and serving tables with vibrant table cloths and centerpieces, use tropical flowers for a Hawaiian luau theme, or seashells and driftwood for a beach feel. If your party will go into the evening, consider candles (citronella to deter bugs) or lanterns on each table; add string lights or even floating pool lights for maximum impact.


Whether it’s live or pre-recorded music on a water-proof stereo, pool games, backyard games, or crafts – think of something for everyone so no one gets bored! Pool floats and beach balls will be a hit! And don’t forget the sports enthusiasts – a few footballs or a pool volleyball game with net will keep people entertained for hours!


It’s so important that your guests remain safe! Never leave children unattended in the pool, even better – make sure all guests know how to swim, and those that don’t should stay poolside or with an adult that can swim at all times. Having flotation devices on hand and a well-stocked first aid kit is a must. Caution against running and dangerous horseplay and be sure you invite plenty of supervising adults. You could even hire a local lifeguard to supervise the party.

Here’s to an awesome pool party! Join our conversation #SummerSmileSplash and share your fundraising stories and pictures with us – we can’t wait to see your activities! For even more ideas visit our Pool & Beach Party Ideas board on Pinterest!

(1) Comment

  1. Good tips and great cause! We all should join hands for this cause to spread smiles and happiness on the children’s faces born with facial deformities.

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