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The Madison Record

Safety Optimist Style dispels anxiety in emergencies

MADISON – In keeping with their goal to encourage youth, Optimist Club will present its 2017 Safety Optimist Style event on May 6 at 10 a.m. at Dublin Park.

SOS gives children an opportunity to meet local law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency workers and rescue dogs, while finding plenty of fun amusements with jump houses, concessions, door prizes and more. SOS is free to the public.

“Imagine your young person’s emotions when firefighters, police, HEMSI or others are required to help in emergency. It can be extremely upsetting, especially if his or her guardians are incapacitated,” Optimist spokesperson Vic van Leeuwen said.

Optimist members realize that, when emergencies develop, “the arrival of loud vehicles with bright, flashing lights manned by strangers can add to the confusion and anxiety of our children,” van Leeuwen said. At SOS, first responders allow the children “to make that siren wail or turn on those flashing lights.”

Optimists designed SOS to introduce youngsters to these safety organizations and other groups so that, should an emergency develop, they are in an environment that is just a little bit more familiar. SOS introduces a child or teenager to those first responders in a fun and informative session and in a wonderful setting, van Leeuwen said.

An Optimist Club is dedicated to “Bringing Out the Best in Kids.” Adult volunteers conduct positive service projects in the Madison community aimed at providing a helping hand to help young people to be the best that they can be.

Madison Optimist Club meets monthly on first and third Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. at the Best Western, 9035 Madison Blvd. 

Optimist International is a worldwide volunteer organization with more than 2,500 local clubs. Members work to make the future brighter by bringing out the best in children, in their communities and in themselves.

For more information, visit optimist.org or Facebook/Optimist Club of Madison.

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