The Odessa Record -

Health and safety night in the park


August 3, 2017

--Photo for The Record by Terrie Schmidt-Crosby.

Dennis Thompson, Norm Ott, Mike Kiesz, Marcus Horak, all local Masonic Lodge members, and Kurt Miller, coordinator of children's programs for Washington Masonic Charities, provided information to the public at the July 26 event at Reiman Park.

Last Wednesday was an event in Odessa at Reiman Park that, admittedly, came together at the last minute. That might explain the low turnout, even with the free food offered. Flyers were put up around town, and word went out through Facebook posts, but no one thought to put an ad in the local newspaper. Would that have resulted in a bigger crowd? We cannnot say so for sure, but plenty of people were said not to have known a thing about it despite the flyers and Facebook traffic.

The hospital had leftover grant money that had to be spent or returned, so they approached police chief Tom Clark about having a "bike rodeo" and the EMTs about offering some hands-on training. The fire department joined in by bringing one of their trucks to put on display and so did the EMTs with their ambulance. The Odessa Masonic Lodge had a table filled with literature about its many programs for youth and the elderly. Go! Odessa Recreation had activities for kids that included crossword puzzles and coloring. The also had raffle for prizes.

Odessa Foods donated hot dogs for the event, cooked on the outdoor grill by firefighters and served free to all who visited the park that evening.

Hospital staff provided free testing of both A1C levels and total cholesterol levels. They also demonstrated the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) in order to familiarize people with the machines and how they are used.

The Odessa Police Department gave a bicycle helmet to each child who participated in its "bike rodeo." Children were taught the purposes of traffic signs and were given instruction in the rules of the road by Officer Bryce Peterson.

Local Odessa Masons manned a table filled with flyers and pamphlets about programs offered by the Washington Masonic Charities. Kurt Miller of the Tacoma office of the organization was on hand, bringing the literature with him.

For those who participated, the evening was very informative. With better planning and a coordinated advertising effort in the future, the event could become a much bigger draw.


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