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Snuggle up in a Safe Kids quilt

Staff writer

Safe Kids Camp organizers are raffling off two quilts made out of camp T-shirts from previous years.

The drawing will take place before the fireworks show July 4 at City Park. Winners need not be present to win.

“Most merchants have tickets,” Tammy Whiteside said. “So do Chief Burke, Jim and Christina Philpott, Travis and Jylle Wilson, and Brian and I. We think this is an important event for our children and we hope to keep it going with the T-shirt quilts.”

Whiteside has been a volunteer at Peabody-Burns Safe Kids Camp since its inception in 2004.

The program will never run out of relevance because there is always another group of children gaining independence and trying new things. Keeping kids safe is important as they move into the world. The camp is presented each spring, just before students begin summer vacation.

“We have a wide variety of groups that come to the school and present topics to the kids,” Whiteside said. “Students learn about stranger danger, railroad safety, bike, water, and fire safety, as well as what to expect if they have to go in an ambulance or helicopter.”

Organizations participating in the daylong camp are Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism; Peabody EMS; Peabody Fire Department; Peabody police, LifeTeam, Marion County sheriff, and Union Pacific Railroad. Halstead Fire Department lets the group use its smoke house.

“The presenters all volunteer their time,” she said. “No one has ever charged for it, and most of them are there all day, teaching students about being safe.”

Atmos Energy provides a hot dog cook-out and the Parent-Teacher-Student Organization donates part of the food. Peabody-Burns Recreation Commission purchased IdentAKid packages for all students this year, and Safe Kid Camp donors contributed money for T-shirts.

“The T-shirts are a big expense, and we make sure every child gets one,” Whiteside said. “We always have to do some fundraising.”

Whiteside decided making a couple of quilts out of T-shirts from years past might be a good way to raise money. Several people donated shirts, from earlier years and Whiteside pieced the quilts with large squares cut from the shirts and bordered in black. The quilts have 25 squares each.

“Since we have only been doing this for 12 years, I had to fill in with T-shirt squares from some of the sponsoring emergency services T-shirts,” she said. “It doesn’t take too long to piece them. Once I decide on a design and which shirts to include, I can put one together in less than a week.”

Juanita Richstatter does machine quilting, also volunteering her time.

Last modified June 23, 2016

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