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Safe Kids offers awards at annual banquet
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Safe Kids Gainesville-Hall County, funded by Northeast Georgia Medical Center, handed out numerous honors at its annual awards banquet Thursday at Lakewood Baptist Church.

The award for Community Agency of the Year went to Hall County Fire Services. Dee Scarpellino, a nurse at McEver Elementary School, was named Educator of the Year. Melinda Smith, a nurse in Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s Emergency Department, was chosen Volunteer of the Year.

Capt. Cliff Miller, Troup B Commander with the Georgia State Patrol, was the keynote speaker. He praised the coalition for its work to prevent childhood injuries, specifically in passenger safety. In the last year, Safe Kids worked with Miller to train troopers under his command, certifying them as child passenger safety technicians.

"I’m proud of the partnership Troup B formed with Safe Kids this year," Miller said. "This training has enabled our troopers not only to more effectively enforce Georgia’s child passenger safety laws but also to provide education to community members through free ongoing car seat inspections at our posts."

Coalition Coordinator Kim Martin said Safe Kids provided 415 programs that reached some 44,000 children, parents and caregivers. She said more than 5,200 safety devices were distributed, including bike helmets, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, child safety seats, life jackets and home safety items.

Numerous businesses and organizations were cited for their support of Safe Kid programs.

For more information about Safe Kids Gainesville-Hall County, call 770-219-8095.

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