Parents Can Learn How to Help Their Teens Be Safer at
GDI Insurance Agency’s Free 3rd Annual Community Safety Saturday™
Held at Hilmar Cheese Company, May 18, 2013
Focus on teen safety to include information about safe driving programs,
new internet safety tools and how to prevent bullying.
Hilmar, CA (May 1, 2013) –- GDI Insurance Agency’s 3rd Annual Community Safety Saturday™ will be held on May 18, 2013, at the Hilmar Cheese Company, Visitor Center Park, 9001 Lander Ave., Hilmar, CA 95324 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The free, family-friendly event is sponsored by Capital Insurance Group® (CIG) and is expected to attract hundreds of attendees. CIG established these popular community events in 2011 and is deeply committed to community safety. CIG holds many Community Safety Saturday events throughout California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington each year. Young children, teens and adults alike will enjoy free demonstrations, materials, games, prizes, and a wealth of safety-related information and resources from more than 20 local, regional, and national organizations.
Grant W. Davis, President of GDI Insurance Agency, remarked, “We are looking forward to an outstanding 3rd Annual Community Safety Saturday event! Safety awareness is always the first step in prevention, and this year, in addition to all the important activities and information we have for younger children, we are also reaching out to teens and their parents. We’ll be promoting the CHP Start Smart Driver Education program, new tools from the KlaasKids Foundation to help keep teens safe on the Internet, and tips on how to prevent bullying. The Hilmar High School Cheerleaders will be on hand to rally support for teen safety with cheering demonstrations, and Dot-Marie Jones from the hit TV show Glee will sign autographs and talk to attendees about bullying.”
Car accidents remain the leading cause of death among teens, and distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic. According to California Highway Patrol (CHP)–Merced’s Public Information Officer Jason Schoonhoven, "The National Safety Council estimates 28% or 1.6 million car crashes are caused by drivers using cell phones or texting. At the CHP, we are dedicated to driver safety by helping to educate the public and enforce the distracted driver laws." In the CHP Start Smart Driver Education program, teens and parents learn about the dangers of distracted driving and how to make the road safer for new drivers. The classes increase traffic-safety knowledge and better prepare teens for the road ahead. Information about local classes and schedules will be provided at Community Safety Saturday.
Internet safety is another growing concern for parents, and risks include cyberbullying, exposure to inappropriate material, and online predators. Says Marc Klaas of the KlaasKids Foundation, “Over the past 20 years we have done a good job of protecting children on our streets, but the Internet represents the predator’s new playground. That is why teens need to be particularly careful on social media websites.” Klaas, advises, “Teens should ‘friend’ only people who really are your friends, limit the amount of personal and private information that you share with other people, and set your account settings so that you control who visits your profile. The same thing goes for chat rooms. Anonymity is the predator’s best weapon. Don’t assume that the cool kid you are talking to is who they say they are.”
Klaas will be on-hand at Community Safety Saturday to present Polly’s Guardian Angel, a missing-child alert system for iPhone and Android, and the Cocoon for KlaasKids, a browser that utilizes the Cloud to protect privacy and provide age-appropriate, safe websites. “KlaasKids believes that technology has advanced to the point that certain applications can and do protect children and teens from those wishing to exploit them,” says Klaas.
The KlaasKids Foundation Print-A-Thon will also be offered at the event, providing free child identification tools including digital fingerprinting, photo IDs, take-home DNA kits, and more. Klaas remarks, “The best way to avoid victimization is through education and knowledge, and that is what KlaasKids provides at the Print-A-Thon during Community Safety Saturday.”
Hilmar's own Dot-Marie Jones, two-time Primetime Emmy® Award nominee for playing Coach Shannon Beiste on the hit TV show Glee, will be a special guest at this year’s event. Jones will meet attendees and talk about her experiences of being bullied when she was growing up. Bullying is unwanted aggressive behavior which can happen to anyone, anywhere.
Dot remarks, "I'm excited to be invited to participate in Community Safety Saturday and to have the opportunity to meet people and sign Robert Kroupa’s anti-bullying book, Just Like You. When I was growing up, I was bullied and called all sorts of names because of my size. I had to learn how to accept myself and be OK with who I was. My message is we are all made differently for a reason. It is up to us to determine what we'll do with it."
Another important feature of the event will be a child car-seat safety inspection station operated by the California Highway Patrol Office–Merced County. Expert technicians will check for proper installation and give 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 will also feature the following free activities:
- Cal Fire–Merced County and Hilmar Volunteer Fire Department will bring a fire engine and rescue vehicle and will also teach attendees what to do in case of a fire in the home.
- Merced County Sheriff's Office will bring a S.W.A.T. truck, squad car, and additional equipment. Dogs from their K-9 unit will be on-hand to carry out demonstrations.
- Hilmar Unified School District Transportation Department will bring a school bus and provide demonstrations and information about bus safety and evacuation drills.
- Riggs Ambulance Service will bring an ambulance for people to tour and games for kids.
- American Red Cross–Central Valley Region will bring emergency preparation information and activities, including a spin wheel with trivia questions and prizes.
- Boy Scouts of America–Greater Yosemite Council will provide emergency survival and safety information.
- Girl Scouts Heart of Central California will bring mini-first aid kits.
- California Department of Boating and Waterways will provide 30 life jackets as prize giveaways, as well as free materials about safe boating practices.
- California Emergency Management Agency will bring educational materials about preparing for earthquakes and other emergencies.
- Turlock Irrigation District Water & Power will provide information about electrical and water safety and will give away Dexter Duck coloring books.
- Hilmar Future Farmers of America (FFA) will provide information about farm equipment safety.
- Hilmar Farm Watch will pass out emergency contact information.
- Merced County Office of Education’s Caring Kids Program will provide children’s activities and offer 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 will have free art activities for children, as well as information regarding educational development services for infants, toddlers and preschool-aged children.
- Creative Alternatives Foster Family Agency will provide information about foster care.
- Jessica’s House will provide information about their peer support groups for children and teens who have experienced the death of a loved one.
- Hilmar Community Health Center will promote awareness of immunizations and provide educational resources.
- One Circle Foundation will provide information about their training programs that promote resiliency and healthy relationships in children, teens and adults.
- Hilmar High School Cheerleaders will perform cheerleading routines throughout the event.
- Radio station KHOP 95.1 will provide music and prizes.
Sandie Borthwick, Corporate Marketing Manager for CIG, remarks, "We are very proud to partner once again with so many community safety-oriented public services and GDI Insurance Agency. CIG’s Community Safety Saturday was born from our concern and commitment to keep children and families safe.”
In addition to the above activities and exhibits, a drawing will be held at the end of Community Safety Saturday at which several exciting prizes will be given away, including a Kindle Fire Tablet, a Bluetooth® headset, an emergency radio and a roadside safety kit.
For more information about the event, please go to www.cigsafetysaturday-hilmar.com or call GDI Insurance Agency: (209) 667-2418.
About Capital Insurance Group:
Capital Insurance Group® (CIG) is the leading regional property and casualty insurer serving the Western U.S. since 1898. CIG insures Personal Auto, Homeowners, Farmowners, Condo Owners, Vacation Property, Renters, Apartment Building Owners, and many kinds of Commercial and Agricultural Auto and Property. The 115 year-old company is rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best, the independent financial monitor of the insurance industry. CIG has been selected for the Ward’s 50 as one of the safest and most efficient property/casualty insurers in the U.S. CIG manages personal, business, and agriculture risks underwritten by its affiliate companies: California Capital Insurance Company, Eagle West Insurance Company, Nevada Capital Insurance Company, and Monterey Insurance Company. Types of policies may vary from state to state. For more information, please visit www.CIGinsurance.com
CIG DELIVERS MORE. Continuously. ™
About the KlaasKids Foundation
The KlaasKids Foundation was established by Marc Klaas in 1994 to give meaning to the death of his twelve-year-old daughter, kidnap and murder victim Polly Hannah Klaas, and to create a legacy in her name that would be protective of children for generations to come. The foundation’s mission is to stop crimes against children by providing education and knowledge to the general public and promoting partnerships with concerned citizens, the private sector, organizations, law enforcement and legislators. www.klaaskids.org