Community plays important role in helping make kids safe

Posted: Friday, June 10, 2005

Kenai Peninsula SAFE KIDS held a children's water safety event at Skyview High School on April 30 to celebrate National SAFE KIDS Week. The event provided the opportunity for children and parents to learn about safety practices around water. More than 100 parents and children participated.

I would like to take this opportunity to recognize those who made this possible.

The Kenai River Sportfishing Association generously funded this event in order for us to purchase Mustang personal flotation devices (life jackets.) Support like this is essential and we greatly appreciate their sponsorship. The national SAFE KIDS campaign, with funding from Johnson and Johnson, also helped with expenses.

A special thanks to Jersey Subs for its continual support in donating subs to feed our dedicated crew.

Our partnership with Kenai Peninsula McDonald's is invaluable. Dena and Scott Cunningham not only provide donations for door prizes and beverages for volunteers, but also they put in many hours volunteering, in every aspect, to make this type of event happen. We are very appreciative and grateful for all they do.

Thanks to Robert Ermold, Matt Widaman, Cathy Johnson, lifeguards, Terry Woodward and staff at Skyview High School for use of their facility.

Applause goes to the agencies and their experts who provided safety information: Mary Jane Hanley from the Kenai Public Health Department, for her willingness to always step in and present needed information; Michelle Ostrowski for the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, who was instrumental in planning, organizing, making signage and doing a learning station; Meredith McCool from USFW, Kenai Field office, who assisted Michelle with the station; the Alaska Sate Parks team of Bill Berkham, Jacques Kosto and Jacquline Erion, for making valuable water safety lessons fun; Tom and Jake Wilkinson of the Kenai Kayak Co., for teaching kids safe boat loading tips and allowing kids to practice skills; Lauri Lingafelt for being a major force behind this event and helping in all phases; Sony Hayes, whose teaching techniques engaged the kids as he taught important safety information; and Chief Chris Mokracek, Gary Hale, Gordon Orth and Josh Thompson from Central Emergency Services for bringing the rescue boat and providing prevention and rescue information.

Additional volunteers are always necessary. Special thanks to Sherry Spencer; Michelle McKay; Fiona McKay; Mariah Ulen; Morgan Cunningham; Zack Sonnichsen; Jose Gomez; Madison Cunningham; James and John Gomez; Jared Lingafelt; Monica, Kayla, Morgan and Mallory Musgrove; Megan Parham; Krissy, Marissa and Ciarra Mahan; Chris Thorne; Katie Marckesano; Sylvana Szczesny; Brenna Talbot, Gabe Fellman; and to any volunteers I missed.

I would like to thank Central Peninsula General Hospital for being he lead agency for Kenai Peninsula SAFE KIDS for the central peninsula area. Its continual commitment to the SAFE KIDS injury prevention program is helping make our children safer.

Jane B. Fellman, RN

Coordinator KPSK

Central Peninsula General Hospital

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