‘Safety Saturday’ set in ’Bago

WINNEBAGO – The Women of Today organized Safety Saturday this weekend at the Winnebago Municipal Building for one last fun blast for area kids, with some hints on how to stay safer this school year.

“It’s for families,” said Heidi Schutt, a member of Women of Today. “We encourage parents to come. If your family wants to brush up on some of their safety skills, they are welcome.”

The event has been held in the past and Women of Today thought it was time to bring it back.

“It’s a good reminder before the kids go back to school,” Schutt said.

As director of the Muir Library, she sees children a lot but not always in a good way.

“Personally, sitting here in the library, watching kids cross the street – a major highway – it makes me nervous,” she said of the youngsters who walk, bike and skateboard across the four lanes.

“Now’s a good time to do it, before school and sports,” Schutt said. “Some kids are going to be walking and riding home by themselves. Some will be staying at home by themselves. What should they do if there’s a fire next door? You hope that never happens, but you want kids to be prepared.”

Adults can benefit from the refresher course too.

The day will kick off at 10 a.m. with magician Brian Richards performing feats that emphasize personal safety.

Outside activities begin at 10:45 a.m., with Winnebago fire and ambulance crews having their rigs on display and offering demonstrations, including a safe house.

Winnebago police will conduct a bike rodeo. Children are asked to bring their own bikes to participate.

Kids can bring their backpacks and get tips from Dr. Amy Fenger, a local chiropractor. She will weigh the backpacks to see if they are more than the child should be carrying, and she will show the kids how to adjust the pack so it sits on the back correctly.

Blue Earth Area Transportation will have school buses on site. The kids and parents will be given a tour of the bus and can sit on it while they learn good behavior and safety procedures while riding.

They also will cover proper protocol when you are driving a vehicle near a bus, Schutt said, citing a recent video of a semi driver who passed a school bus on the right shoulder, nearly hitting a female student. The driver has reportedly turned himself in to authorities.

A hot dog lunch will be served, and a PLINKO game and bouncy house will be set up.

Participants in Safety Saturday will receive a certificate, Schutt said.

Women of Today have received lots of community donations and volunteers, she added.

“I think it’ll be a good end of summer celebration but educational and fun too,” Schutt said.