General News
Posted July 5, 2012
Child Safety Celebrated at the 19th Annual Suncoast Safe Kids Coalition Appreciation Luncheon

Over 200 member agencies, sponsors, donors and community supporters attended the Annual Safe Kids Coalition SAFE Kids Luncheon - 2012Appreciation Luncheon on June 27. Dr. Jonathan Ellen, Interim President of All Children's Hospital, thanked the audience for their continued support throughout the year in preventing accidental injuries and injury related deaths to children.

Terrance Schiavone, Regional Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Southeast Region, provided the keynote address. Other dignitaries attending the event included: Florida Legislators Larry Ahern and Jim Frische, Safety Harbor Mayor Andy Steingold. Judge Karl Grube and Pinellas County Commissioner Nancy Bostock.

Special Awards were presented to individuals for their support of the SAFE KIDS mission:

  • Wilmarie Alvarado, whose 19-month-old son survived a serious motor vehicle collision uninjured in Polk County, was recognized because she properly restrained him in his car seat.
  • Tommie Best and Noelle Riddle students at Pinellas Central Elementary and Bianca Hurst a student at Our Savior Lutheran School in Pinellas County were recognized for wearing their bike helmets. Each student was involved is a serious bike crash that could have caused a serious head injury had they not been wearing a bike helmet.
  • Elizabeth Vaughn, a student at Gulf Highlands Elementary in Pasco County, was recognized for creating a fire escape plan for her family. The family practiced and then executed the plan when their home was in danger of burning due to a neighbor's home burning 'to-the-ground'.
  • Heather & Chris Palmer were recognized for learning how to properly fit their children with bike helmets and making sure the children always wear them when riding their bicycles.
  • John Paulson was recognized for volunteering at Safe Kids events in multiple counties for almost a decade. Mr. Paulson also designed and created several 'wheels of safety'. Safe Kids and Fit4AllKids use the wheels to quiz children and families on a number of health and safety topics at community events.

Twelve "Community Based Child Passenger Safety Fitting Stations" in the six counties served by the Safe Kids Coalition and All Children's Hospital were recognized for checking almost 3,000 car seats between June 2011 and June 2012.

All Children's recognized The Children's Burn Foundation of Central Florida and the Katelyn Foundation. The Burn Foundation received $1,300 to provide scholarships for child victims of fire and burns to attend the foundation's summer camp. The Katelyn Foundation was presented with a $250 check to scholarship children's swimming lessons in Pasco County.

View photos from the event