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Safety Saturday free community event returns to Turlock
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Turlock Fire Fighter Steven Kramer shows the crowd the equipment and compartments on a fire truck during the 2014 Safety Saturday event hosted by GDI. - photo by Journal file photo

GDI Insurance will once again help families learn how to keep their children safe during a free community event on May 16. The 5th Annual CIG Insurance Community Safety Saturday event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at GDI Insurance Agency’s Turlock office at 801 Geer Road, Turlock.

The event will feature activities, demonstrations and educational services designed to improve the safety and security of children, teens, families and communities.

According to Matthew Davis, vice president of GDI Insurance Agency, the event is an extension of the company's mission.

"We're here to help our clients build and sustain their them protect their assets and work on other aspects of protection," said Davis.

Working from that mission statement, GDI combined their employees' heart for community, passion for education and concern for children, especially at-risk children, and decided a safety fair was the perfect way to give back.

While the activities at the fair are aimed at engaging kids, educating parents on how to keep them safe is the number one goal.

"We found that abduction of children is a big concern. As the father of five, it's a big concern of mine," said Davis.

The KlaasKids Foundation will return this year and offer free digital photo IDs and fingerprinting for every child. Parents receive a free DNA collection kit, child-safety tips and a nine-point plan on what to do if their child disappears. KlaasKids is a nonprofit organization with the mission to stop crimes against children by providing education and knowledge to the general public.

Marc Klaas, who recently marked the 20th anniversary of his daughter Polly’s abduction and murder, advised, “The best way to avoid victimization is through education and knowledge.”

The Turlock Police Department will be at the event providing complimentary child car seat safety inspections. National studies show that 80 to 90 percent of children are not properly restrained when in a vehicle, and about 90 percent of car seats are installed incorrectly. Experts will check for proper installation and give parents and caregivers critical information about installing car seats correctly for their child and particular vehicle.

Other features of the event include:

·         A Turlock Police squad car and McGruff, the Crime Prevention Dog, to share crime prevention safety tips.

·         Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department vehicles and K9 dog demonstrations.

·         Turlock Fire Department engine and safety information.

·         American Red Cross emergency preparedness information, games and giveaways.

·         Girl Scouts Heart of Central California hands-on craft activity.

·         Friends of Turlock Animal Shelter mobile adoption trailer and information about pet safety.

·         Creative Alternatives Foster Family Agency will provide information about foster care as well as child abuse and neglect.

·         Jessica’s House will provide information about its peer support groups for children and teens that have experienced the death of a loved one. They’ll have art activities, wheel of prizes, corn hole games, coloring books and more giveaways from Jessica’s House.

·         Monkey Business of Emmanuel Cancer Center will bring information about its support group for children when a loved one has cancer. 

·         Turlock Irrigation District will bring its education trailer and provide electricity safety information and Dexter Duck coloring books and other giveaways. 

·         United Way of Stanislaus County will have an information booth and handouts about their 2-1-1 program and a children’s coloring game.

·         The U.S. Forest Service will provide informational brochures about wildfire prevention, including its One Less Spark program and its Drown, Stir and Feel campfire campaign. Smokey Bear will be on hand, too.

·         American Medical Response will bring an ambulance for kids to tour.

For more information about this event, visit