First responders will teach children, families important information to keep them safe.
It’s easy to see that Lakewood Ranch’s Laurie Fox surrounds herself with her passions.
Her Summerfield home has transformed into a temporary storage space for plastic firefighter hats, literature on public health and safety, and even granola bars for snacks.
On Oct. 12, Fox will pass those items out during Safety Town, a free community safety event for children and families.
The event will run from 9-11 a.m. at Main Street at Lakewood Ranch. There will be a firetruck to explore, lifeguards from the Manatee County YMCA to talk about water safety, Smokey Bear from U.S. Forest Service, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputies and an educational germ bus from the Manatee County Health Department.
“I’m so excited; I can hardly stand it,” said Fox, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker and a Lakewood Ranch Community Development District 1 board supervisor.
First responders will have masks and capes to wear, so children think of them as the heroes they are, Fox said. First responders are those who respond to emergencies and natural disasters while others are at home watching on television.
“These are the real heroes, not the things you find in a comic book or a movie,” Fox said. “They have important things to teach us about being safe.”
In addition to exploring and talking directly with first responders, children who attend will receive a bag with a coloring book, handouts, a child ID kit and other goodies, such as a firefighter or police officer hat.
Although Fox has worked in various careers — as a controller with Allstate Insurance in the 1980s and as a Realtor since 2007 — she has always loved working with children.
Fox said she has wanted to do Safety Town for about three years but finally decided to do so after creating a “Teachers are Heroes” Day at McNeal Elementary last year. Children in K-Kids helped decorate goodie bags stuffed with treats for teachers, and Fox provided educators with lunch and superhero capes.
“I wanted them to know their teachers are heroes,” Fox said.
She said she hopes Safety Town will grow in future years.
“Our future is our children,” Fox said. “We have to invest in our future and teach them to serve and take care of other people.”