Safe Kids CarbonCounty Chapter members recently recognized a group of individuals for theirdedication to the organization, which helps teach parents and children how to be safe.

During the Safe Kids annual award and appreciation luncheon at Macaluso's Restaurant in Nesquehoning, Evalynn Kuehner, supervisor for the Carbon County Right From The Start program and early care and education community engagement coordinator/LCCC; and the Concern Treatment Unit for Boys were recognized for their contributions to the group.

Carbon County Commissioner Wayne Nothstein, who is a member of Safe Kids, presented the appreciation award to representatives of Concern.

"This group has always been there when we need help," he said. "They are very community oriented."

Mindy Graver, chairwoman for Safe Kids, added that Concern has been helping Safe Kids for over a decade. The boys participate in the program by dressing up as Vince and Larry, the crash dummies, during safety fairs, car seat checkups and more. This helps bring awareness to parents that safety is a priority.

Graver then talked about the new challenges she faced since the retirement of Susan Tyler, the former chair of Safe Kids.

She noted that she has big shoes to fill and never realized how much Tyler did behind the scenes to make sure Safe Kids events ran smoothly.

Graver credited Kuehner for helping make her transition in leadership easy.

She talked about how much time Kuehner has put in to help the group and then presented her with an appreciation award.

Kuehner, who was unaware of the award, said it is a pleasure to work with Safe Kids.

She has been involved in the organization since she became the supervisor for Right From The Start three years ago.

During that time, she has helped with numerous fairs, safety programs and car seat checkups.

Prior to the awards, Graver recapped the year's accomplishments, which included organizing five car seat checkups in the county; conducting booster seat, bicycle helmet, fire, sports injury prevention and toddler safety programs at schools and health fairs; and handing out smoke detectors, bicycle helmets and car seats to families in need.

"This group is one of the most active in the state," Graver said of the chapter. "We make a difference in this community."

She credited everyone's involvement for the organization's success.

Safe Kids Carbon County was organized in 1995 to promote the prevention of childhood injuries in Carbon County through education, collaboration, and advocacy. Safe Kids is a partnership of several agencies and individuals that provide broad-based support and diversity for educational activities. They sponsor effective injury reduction activities, promote awareness and education among child advocates, support public policies and programs that reduce injuries among children and youth.

Some of its member agencies include: Pennsylvania Department of Health, Blue Mountain Health System, Carbon County Assistance Office, Carbon County Highway Safety Program, Pennsylvania State Police, Carbon County Head Start, Penn State Cooperative Extension, Child Care Information Services of Carbon County, Carbon County Commissioners, and Right from the Start.