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The City Journals

Safety first at family skate night

Jun 03, 2019 03:34PM ● By Kaitlyn Rowbotham

Kids fill the Lone Peak Skate Park Monday, May 13. (Kaitlyn Rowbotham/City Journals)

By Kaitlyn Rowbotham | [email protected]

Monday, May 13, was the first family night at Lone Peak Skate Park. During the summer, the skate park is closed to the public one Monday evening a month and opened up to families. 

“We wanted to provide the littler kids time to skate with their families,” said Dustin Jackson, recreation program coordinator for Sandy City. “This event has been going for about 15 years now.”

During this first family night event, Sandy Parks and Recreation partnered with Healthy Sandy for a helmet giveaway to the first 25 people in line. In addition, helmets were also provided at a lower cost so everyone could have access to one.

“We’re all about safety in the department,” Jackson continued. “We want to give people an opportunity to buy a good quality helmet for cheap. We want people to be safe and enjoy their time, especially while they’re learning.”

Each month, a different Sandy City department comes to the event to interact with the children and teach them about their department. At the May 13 event, the fire department rolled up in their shiny red truck, opening the doors so the kids could see.

“These are fun nights — it’s a really relaxed environment that we get to have fun and hang out with the kids,” said Lenore Corey, a fire and life safety specialist at Sandy Fire Department. “Helmets are just such a simple thing, it doesn’t take very long to put it on, it doesn’t take very long to fit it — that’s another reason at this first event they always provide the helmets. We want them to be protected at the event. We use opportunities like this when they’re actually doing the event to try to explain it to them.”

Bikes, scooters, rollerblades and skateboards zoomed across the park as laughter and squeals of delight filled the air.  

“You see a lot of smiling at these events,” Corey continued. “A lot of times these kids don’t feel comfortable being here because the big kids are in here doing all the tricks that they do and it’s uncomfortable and scary for the small kids. But this is fun for them to come out and do.”

Two half shy, half eager little boys approached the fire truck with their parents. The firefighters showed them the equipment and gave them shiny new “junior firefighter” stickers.

“We bought our kids some scooters but they haven’t had a chance to try them yet,” said Nicole Curtis, mother of the two little boys. “We heard about the event and thought this is perfect, we can get helmets that are super affordable and to also get them to see other kids because they’re a little bit hesitant about getting on their scooters.”

After posing for a picture with the firefighters, the boys were eager to go play. They waved goodbye to the firefighters and headed for the skate park.

“I think events like these are amazing for the community,” Curtis commented before leaving too. “Not only does it give the kids exposure to seeing police officers and firefighters and understanding who the helpers are in their community, I think it gives people a chance to come out and understand the importance of safety and for all the kids to see that this is something everybody needs so they’re not as likely to go out without their helmet.”