Volunteers keep children safe

Leaders of High Prairie and District Children’s Resource Council were thanked by High Prairie RCMP. Left-right, are High Prairie RCMP Const. Michelle Phillips, CRC staff Kerry Cunningham, Denise Willier, Nilda Dube and Peggy McCarthy, and High Prairie RCMP S/Sgt. Warren Wright. Missing in the photo are Robin Baker and Harmony Cunningham.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Volunteers who helped keep children safe at the 2018 High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo were rewarded for their efforts.

“The Stay Safe Partners Who Care program created by the RCMP and High Prairie and District Children’s Council was a resounding success,” High Prairie RCMP Const. Michelle Phillips says.

Parent Link co-ordinators Peggy McCarthy and Kerry Cunningham, Brighter Futures co-ordinator Nilda Dube, finance manager Denise Willier, Stronger Together family success coach Robin Baker and Brighter Futures Next Steps co-ordinator Harmony Cunningham volunteered at the two-day event.

“You saved us from having a lot of missing children,” S/Sgt. Warren Wright says.

“We plan to do it again at the next rodeo.”

Wright presented certificates of appreciation to each volunteer March 1 at the CRC office.

“We want to make the rodeo safer for younger children and their families,” says Parent Link co-ordinator Kerry Cunningham.

More than 300 children aged 2-10 years registered for the program on the first day and more than 100 on the second day.

CRC volunteers and police put a durable wristband on every child and wrote an emergency contact phone number on it.

Many parents said the program at the rodeo was long overdue, Cunningham says.

“The program raised awareness of the risk of children becoming separated and it created a fast and easy way to locate the loved one of a lost child,” Phillips says.

“There were minimal lost or separated children and the couple of children that did, were very quickly reunited with their families.”

Phillips introduced Stay Safe from similar programs at other rodeos and events.

She says it creates better security and comfort to children and parents and allows police to focus on public safety in other areas of the event.

Certificates state the value of the program and volunteers.

“Your support of this initiative resulted in dramatically reduced instances of lost or separated children, increasing thee overall well being of children and families in the community we serve,” Wright says.

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