Posted: Wednesday, March 06, 2002

Community works together to make kids' activities safer

Feb. 9, Kenai Peninsula Safe Kids for the Central Peninsula area, Soldotna Community Schools, Kenai Peninsula McDonald's, A-1 Enterprises, Central Emergency Services, Kenai Fire Department, Soldotna Police Department, KP-PLUG, Caribou Hills Cabin Hoppers, Team Tesoro, Kenai Public Health Department, Alaska State Parks and recreational grant, Napa Auto Parts, Craig Taylor Equipment, Arctic Motor Sports and over 60 wonderful volunteers put on the third annual Children's Snowmobile Safety Awareness Event. The turnout continued to be great with over 500 attending and 235 children leaving with snowmobile helmets.

The objective of this event is to make children, parents and caregivers aware of the high risks of injury and deaths due to riding snowmobiles. Parents and caregivers are provided with information to help them make a decision whether to allow their child/children to ride or operate a snowmobile in the first place.

They also are given safety tips to help them teach their children to ride and operate snowmobiles in a safer manner. The importance of adult supervision is stressed, and upon completion the participants may purchase a certified full-faced shield children's snowmobile helmet for $20.

New this year was the addition of avalanche safety presented by Joe and Sheila Westfall founders of the Alaska Snowmachine Search, Rescue and Recovery Team. This great addition was made possible thanks to Soldotna Community Schools and Rosie Reeder.

This large of an event ran smoothly due in part to the use of Soldotna Middle School and the many volunteers. We were able to double the stations and thereby decrease the two hour waiting time from last year. Soldotna Middle School PTA provided food and beverages for sale for those who waited.

I would like to thank all the key people and wonderful volunteers who made this event possible: Dena and Scott Cunningham, Lauri Lingafelt, Gary Hale, James Baisden, John Harris, Larry Streiff, Pat Price, Lindsey Ansoteguil, Dan Musgrove, Sherry Spence, Kelly Isham, Kris and Lacy Moore, Dave Hopkins, Vern Hopkins, Doug and Margie Vance, Dan Buecker, Tracy Manolukis, Michelle Banta, Patti Hartley, Becki Hartley, Betty Bonner, Marc Crouse, Chris Crouse, Katie Crane, Gina Joyce, Ray DeBardelaber, Gordon Glaser, Troy Adams, Jim, Gabe, and Lukas Fellman, Donna Cotman, Lucinda Knopp, Oscar Hayes, Bryan and Mim Updike, Joel Christenson, Sue Jones, Bill Scarlett, Tim and Pam Musgrove, Kevin Smart, Robbie Quelland, Duane Kant, David McCamon, Mary Jane Hanley, Philip France, Sharon Hale, Mike, Thersea and Matt Colton, Craig and Deirdre Cheek, Jim Julien and Pepper Burnett.

March 2, Safe Kids, the U.S. Coast Guard, Scott Feldmann and Alaska State Parks and Joe McCollough sponsored the Water Safety Program (Kids Don't Float Program) at the annual Village Fair. Forty-five children attended and learned how to be safe around water. Jane Stein and Village Fair committee made this possible with the help of our volunteers: Lauri and Jared Lingafelt, Gabe and Lukas Fellman, Sara and Colten Jensen, and Kelly Isham.

Summer is on the way and it will soon be time to ride bikes so Margi McCord provided a booth and sold 75 bike helmets. Thanks to all of you for your time and dedication to make children safer.

If you are interested in more information or helping with other programs that Kenai Peninsula Safe Kids sponsor, call Central Peninsula General Hospital at 262-8195 ext. 280.

Jane B. Fellman, R.N

Coordinator for Kenai Peninsula Safe Kids

for the central peninsula area

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