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Safe Kids gives out annual awards

POSTED: June 2, 2008 5:00 a.m.
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Kimberly Martin, left, coordinator for Safe Kids Gainesville/Hall County, hands Gainesville police Officer Kevin Holbrook his award for being named Volunteer of the Year at the awards luncheon Thursday.

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Safe Kids of Gainesville and Hall County recognized many in the community at its annual awards banquet Thursday at Lakewood Baptist Church.

"The purpose of Safe Kids is to prevent accidental injuries to children under the age of 14," said Safe Kids Coordinator Kimberly Martin.

Safe Kids is one of 22 coalitions in Georgia that provides educational programs to the community on topics ranging from water safety to road safety, including a free safety seat awareness class held monthly at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center.

In addition, Martin said Safe Kids has distributed some 5,600 safety devices, from carbon monoxide alarms to bike helmets.

At the banquet, volunteers of the Safe Kids coalition were recognized for their efforts. Teacher of the Year awards were given to Karen Jackson, a teacher at Gainesville High School, and Carie Love, a second-grade teacher at Sugar Hill Elementary.

The Agency of the Year award was presented to the Gainesville Police Department, and the Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Officer Kevin Holbrook of the Gainesville Police Department.

Gainesville Police Chief Frank Hooper, who is on vacation this week, said he was pleased with the award because of what it means to children’s safety.

"I’m so proud of both the award for the department and individually for Kevin Holbrook," Hooper said. "It is an award they deserve because of their work on the Safe Kids program and I’m so proud of that."

Officer Holbrook said every time he saw a child riding a bike and wearing a Safety Kids helmet, he was reminded of the impact of the program. "(The Safe Kids program) means the world to me," he said. "Anything and everything that they’re doing, we want to make sure they’re doing it safe."

For more information, visit safekidsgainesvillehall.org or call 770-533-8095.

The Safe Kids Gainesville office is located at 2150 Limestone Parkway, Suite 115 in Gainesville.



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