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Hi. We are the Gages.

On Friday, August 31, 2012, Connor Gage went to the lake, and he didn’t come home.

Connor was at a birthday party, jumped from the roof of the boat dock, and did not resurface. 

In an instant, we went from a happy family of four, to a broken family of three.

But the story doesn't end there.

The Gages in 2011: Riley, Brett, Dana, Connor

The Gages in 2011: Riley, Brett, Dana, Connor

15-year-old Connor was killed in a lake tragedy that was 100% preventable.


Connor was a lifelong lake kid, a water bug, an excellent swimmer. Despite that, he drowned. After losing Connor, someone close to the situation described his death as a horrible tragedy. And it's true. It was, and still is, a horrible tragedy. But there's a very important word missing from that description. Preventable. Connor's death was a horrible, preventable, tragedy. Because this time, with this jump, at this lake house, Connor was not required to wear a life vest. All it took was one bad jump, one bad fall, one time unprotected, and it was over. Lives were forever changed. The only thing harder than losing Connor is knowing he could, and should, still be here. A simple life vest would have saved his life. 


We founded The LV Project to honor Connor and to prevent our story from becoming someone else's story.  Too many people assume being a good swimmer makes you drown-proof. Too few people know that open water drowning rates triple at age 15, and remain elevated throughout adulthood. Too many people in charge at lake gatherings assume life vests aren't needed for older kids. Our mission is to change all that. But we couldn't leave it at that.... because, Connor.  Connor was so joyful. So funny, happy, smart and full of life. The LV Project can't be just about how Connor died. It has to be about how he LIVED. And Connor lived buoyantly.  Water safety is our message, but BUOYANCY is our mission.

 > EVERYONE NEEDS A lift. on the water, and off.

Life vests come in many forms. There are times each of us could use a lift from whatever darkness we're in. Lifted to the surface -- by a power that's not our own -- where there's air, and light, and freedom. That's what The LV Project is about. Buoyancy on water, and more importantly, in life.

> We think Connor would like that. 


The LV Project relentlessly pursues the idea that all people can LiVe and LoVe buoyantly. 

Through our WATER BUOYANCY projects, The LV Project raises awareness for drowning prevention and specifically advocates for use of life vests on lakes.

Through our LIFE BUOYANCY projects, The LV Project completes service projects that give people in need a lift in their everyday lives.