On January 24, Chair Richard Hanson and Vice-Chair/Treasurer Jean Czyczyro (centre) accepted the first donation to the Transportation Fund, designed to increase accessibility to the Children's Safety Village from Kiwanis president, Allan Twamley (left) and Past President Susan Sweet (right).
The Kiwanis Club of Belleville has been supporting a variety of children’s programs in the Belleville area since 1923. In the 50s, they supported the Elmer Safety program and even leased a vehicle in the 60s for the Safety Officer. In 2004, when the Safety Village was first built, they donated a series of medals, similar to the Terrific Kids program they also sponsor. Children receive a medal upon completion of their class at the Safety Village and are a treasured token of their day.
The Safety Village has been subsidizing school trips to the Village for a number of years in order to ensure that students have access to the programs taught in the Village. In 2016, the Board decided to launch a campaign to help support transportation directly. It is a good fit for many service clubs who want to help but have a mandate to support projects rather than general operating costs. In this situation, the children benefit directly from the donation. This contribution to the fund will help the Village extend the subsidy in keeping with the increased costs of transportation – over $200 for some schools within the city alone and will make it possible for 10 more classes to visit this year.
The Kiwanis Club recognizes the value in the Safety Village programs and the potential impact it has on the reduction of traffic and pedestrian related injuries. With a recent increase in pedestrian fatalities noted in recent news reports, the training provided by the Safety Village in an interactive learning environment will hopefully reduce the statistics and ensure the long term safety of our children. With over 30 elementary classes that could come to the Village in Belleville alone, the donation is a great start but the campaign continues to seek support from other agencies both within Belleville and our neighbouring cities. Programs at the Safety Village are open and free to any school wishing to attend. For more information about Kiwanis, visit www.kiwanisbelleville.ca and the Safety Village at www.csvbelleville.com