Spring is here, and if there’s one thing we can count on, it is that spring gets us motivated and moving. Groups and organizations begin a fresh round of activities and events, and the Pilot Club’s annual public service event for kids is coming this month.
This will be the third year for “Safety Town” which is, as most of you know by now, a very unique kids’ event that is free, fun, and educational as well.
Each year our event has grown and has provided Winston County children and youth with a very unique opportunity. “Safety Town” attempts to raise awareness in our young people about safety issues and potential dangers that could easily affect their lives.
It also helps kids get comfortable with the men and women who provide professional emergency assistance to people experiencing some kind of trouble or crisis.
This year “Safety Town” will be held on Saturday, April 29th, and as always, will be held in the Louisville Coliseum. It is free to all Winston County kids, aged preschool to eight grade. The hours have changed, however, so be sure and put “Safety Town” on your calendars, including its new hours: 10:30-1:30. You won’t want your kids or grandkids to miss a single thing, so plan to join your dedicated Pilot Club at the coliseum at 10:30 am on April 29th, and be sure to dress comfortably. Please remember that no pets are allowed, and all children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
For those of you who have never experienced “Safety Town,” its backbone is made up of all the important civil law enforcement and emergency service departments of our city and county, and even some state departments as well. Our local police department, sheriff’s department, fire department, civil defense department, an ambulance service, a medical service helicopter, highway patrol, DARE, and local Wildlife, Fish, and Game officers are the foundation of our event; but we also have representatives from various government offices and private organizations that can cover other topics of safety that can affect the lives of our young people. Some of those organizations/offices include the Attorney General, Safe Kids MS, Advocates for Freedom, and others. Both parents and kids can be informed about internet safety, human trafficking, what we may not understand about car seats and booster seats, the dangers of distracted driving (cell phones, etc.), weather safety, swiming dangers and how to handle them, and much more. We also are blessed to have a local marital arts instructor, our own Lee Verry, who teaches specific maneuvers that can help kids in specific crisis situations. This year the sound system for our event will be provided by Jason Stewart, who owns “Burnt Orange Studios,” which provides the highest quality in sound equipment and technology.
“Safety Town” is also unique in that our visitors are able to visit each station however they please and at their own leisure. Parents and kids alike can ask as many questions as they need to, and interact with our participants as much as they wish. “Safety Town” provides young people from preschool to junior high the opportunity to get inside and examine a police car, fire truck, ambulance, and medi-vac helicopter; and also, to watch beneficial demonstrations. They can learn about gun safety, hunting safety, swimming safety, weather safety, and much more. Our professional participants can help them learn the best way to respond to various emergencies. “Safety Town” is a fun experience for kids, but it can be as much a learning experience as it is fun, depending on how much the kids interact with our professionals. This year we are blessed to have Dr. Dustin Gentry as a professional participant, and we are looking forward to his input; and WCBI weatherman, Keith Gibson, will also be a participant.
Speaking of fun, “Safety Town” is also blessed to have Melvin and Julie Chase once again to provide entertainment, and bouncers to “jump away” their excess energy, and face-painting as well. We provide a hotdog lunch for everyone, including chips, drink and cookie.
We’re always open to new ideas and suggestions to help us add enhancing new features to our event, so if anyone has a constructive idea related to safety, our Pilots are all ears. If you or someone you know works in an area that is related to safety issues, and wants to become involved with our event, we would be happy to talk to them. You may call Bettie Glass at 662-418-0005.