Event puts safety first


From learning the right way to wear a bicycle helmet to creating child ID kits that could be crucial in emergencies, First Lutheran Church’s Safety Day offers invaluable lessons for local families – while still having a bit of fun.

Galion’s First Lutheran Church is hosting its second annual Safety Day on June 1 at the Ark Church, also located in Galion. With nearly 30 vendors participating, there is something fun – and educational – for everyone.

Dozens of vendors will have booths set up to teach children and their parents about various aspects of safety, such as the correct way to wear a bicycle helmet or how to use a fire extinguisher. Other vendors provide helpful tips for parents, such as inspecting the safety of their children’s car seats or providing ID kits with fingerprinting and photos that may help law enforcement identify their child in case of an emergency.

One change this year will be more of an emphasis on Galion’s senior community. Event organizer Melanie Mason said she identified a need for senior citizen safety training after working with her own grandmother.

Seniors and their families who attend can learn more about safety issues such as Life Alert usage and how to look out for phone scams.

As educational as the event will be, that’s not all the organizers are aiming for. “We try to make it more of a fun, carnival-type atmosphere,” Mason said.

The event started last year after Mason’s pastor at First Lutheran Church asked the congregation for community outreach ideas. As an emergency room nurse, Mason has seen her share of avoidable emergencies. She and her coworkers have been inspired to use the Safety Day as a tool to educate the public.

“We try to just give back so that maybe we don’t have those emergencies,” she said.

Safety Day will have plenty of fun activities mixed in, from popcorn and drinks for attenders to the chance to win bicycles in raffles. Mason said that nearly every vendor attending has some type of raffle or giveaway event going on at their booth.

Along with local businesses, the Galion police and fire departments will be present at the event, giving children the option to take a closer look at the fire trucks and equipment first responders use.

“(Safety Day is) an opportunity to get together with your community, get to know your police officers and your fire (department). Just to gather and have fun,” Mason said. “We don’t have enough fun these days, especially ones that don’t cost anything. It’s just an opportunity to have fun and just enjoy life a little bit and hopefully learn some safety tips in the meantime.”

Though Safety Day is still a week away, it has already provided an opportunity to bring the community together as local businesses and organizations have the chance to donate time, resources, and materials to the event.

The Galion Eagles Club, for example, provided the bikes for prizes in the raffle. Mason’s own coworkers have donated monetarily and plan to donate their time on the day of the event. Firelands Credit Union has been one of the event’s largest supporters, Mason said.

For more information about this year’s Safety Day and to ask about donation and volunteer opportunities, visit the Spring Safety Day Facebook page.

Hannah Bryan is a correspondent for the Galion Inquirer. She can be reached at [email protected].

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