Hilmar, CA (May 30, 2013) –- GDI Insurance Agency’s 3rd Annual Community Safety Saturday™ was held on May 18, 2013, at the Hilmar Cheese Company, Visitor Center Park. The free, family-friendly event was sponsored by Capital Insurance Group® (CIG) and attracted over 2,000 attendees. Young children, teens and adults alike enjoyed free demonstrations, games, prizes, and a wealth of safety-related information and resources from more than 20 local, regional, and national organizations.
CIG established these popular family events in 2011 and holds many Community Safety Saturday events throughout California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington each year. CIG Sacramento Business Relationship Manager Frank McKnight states, “CIG is deeply committed to community safety. We strongly believe that if we help to educate and promote family safety we will affect the overall safety of the communities we serve. CIG is very happy to partner with GDI Insurance and all of the organizations that support child, teen and community safety.”
Grant W. Davis, President of GDI Insurance Agency, remarks, “I really don’t know of any other event where a parent or grandparent can bring children and have access to so many wonderful resources. We are thrilled with the wonderful turnout for our event and happy that people took advantage of all the great child, teen and community safety resources that GDI and CIG brought together.”
Over 200 children participated in the KlaasKids Print-A-Thon.
The KlaasKids Foundation Print-A-Thon was offered at the event, providing free child identification tools including digital fingerprinting, photo IDs, take-home DNA kits, and more. Marc Klaas reports, “We have facilitated Print-A-Thon events throughout the United States for almost 20 years with a variety of community-minded sponsors, and this event was a huge success – we served over 200 children!”
Dot-Marie Jones signed books and met with families and fans for photos.
Hilmar's own Dot-Marie Jones, two-time Primetime Emmy® Award nominee for playing Coach Shannon Beiste on the hit TV show Glee, was a special guest at this year’s event. Jones signed over 85 copies of Robert Kroupa’s new anti-bullying book for kids, Just Like You. She also met attendees and talked about her experiences of being bullied when she was growing up. Jones remarked, “I am excited to participate at Community Safety Saturday, and it is great to see so many families taking advantage of the great child, teen and community safety activities right here in my hometown!”
More children will ride safely thanks to the child car-seat inspections.
Another important feature of the event was the child car-seat safety inspection station operated by the California Highway Patrol Office–Merced County. Expert technicians checked 43 vehicles for proper installation and gave parents and caregivers critical information about installing car seats correctly for their particular child and vehicle. California Law restricts where and how a child may occupy a vehicle, based on the child’s age and height. According to the California Highway Patrol, children are at greater risk when riding in the front seat, and a child’s injury risk is reduced 33% when the child is moved from the front seat to the back.
Community Safety Saturday also featured the following participants and activities:
- California Highway Patrol of Merced County provided many safety information materials and signed more than a dozen attendees up for future Start Smart drivers’ education classes.
- Cal Fire–Merced County and Hilmar Volunteer Fire Department brought a fire engine and rescue vehicle and taught attendees what to do in case of a fire in the home.
- Merced County Sheriff's Office brought “The Bearcat” S.W.A.T. armored vehicle and a new sports utility patrol vehicle. Dogs from their K-9 unit wowed the crowds with demonstrations. Also present were Search and Rescue personnel, Sheriff volunteers, Deputies and S.W.A.T. personnel.
- Hilmar Unified School District Transportation Department brought a school bus and provided demonstrations and information about bus safety and evacuation drills.
- Riggs Ambulance Service brought an ambulance for people to tour and games for kids.
- American Red Cross–Central Valley Region brought emergency preparation information and activities, including a spin wheel with trivia questions and prizes.
- Boy Scouts of America–Greater Yosemite Council and the Cub Scouts Pack 21 provided emergency survival and safety information.
- Girl Scouts Heart of Central California gave out mini-first aid kits.
- California Department of Boating and Waterways provided 30 life jackets as prize giveaways, as well as free materials about safe boating practices.
- California Emergency Management Agency brought educational materials about preparing for earthquakes and other emergencies.
- Turlock Irrigation District Water & Power provided information about electrical and water safety and gave away Dexter Duck coloring books.
- Hilmar Future Farmers of America (FFA) provided information about farm equipment safety.
- Hilmar Farm Watch gave out emergency contact information.
- Merced County Office of Education’s Caring Kids Program provided children’s activities and offered strategies to promote children's healthy social-emotional development, including behavior management tips and other effective parenting strategies.
- Merced County Office of Education Head Start conducted free art activities for children, and provided information regarding educational development services for infants, toddlers and preschool-aged children.
- Creative Alternatives Foster Family Agency provided information about foster care.
- Jessica’s House provided information about their peer support groups for children and teens that have experienced the death of a loved one.
- Hilmar Community Health Center promoted awareness of immunizations and provided educational resources.
- One Circle Foundation provided information about their training programs that promote resiliency and healthy relationships in children, teens and adults.
- Hilmar High School Cheerleaders volunteered throughout the event and also performed cheerleading routines.
- Radio station KHOP 95.1 provided music and prizes.
In addition to the above activities and exhibits, a drawing was held at the end of Community Safety Saturday at which several exciting prizes were given away, including a Kindle Fire Tablet, a Bluetooth® headset, an emergency radio and a roadside safety kit.
Sandie Borthwick, CIG Corporate Marketing Manager, remarks, “Each year we have watched the GDI Insurance event grow both in attendance and in services provided. Grant and his staff have made a very positive impact on safety awareness in both the Turlock and Hilmar communities. CIG looks forward to partnering with GDI in future safety events.”
For updates and information about GDI Insurance Agency’s Community Safety Saturday, go to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and the GDI Blog