MERRILL (WAOW) -- Heidi Duley of Merrill, started a Safety Day Camp for Kids and is honored with a Jefferson Award. The award was established in 1972, and it recognizes businesses, schools, and individuals who answer the call to action for volunteers.
Heidi Duley has been a nurse for more than 30 years. But it's what she does outside of the emergency room that makes her stand out.
"I think what she does for the community and for the kids is what stood out with me. She's investing in the future," Paul Jiminez said, who nominated Heidi Duley for the Jefferson Award.
After seeing children visit the hospital with skinned knees and broken bones, Heidi followed her passion for helping kids, by starting a Safety Day Camp.
"Accidents happen. And sometimes accidents happen, but when you see something happening that was totally preventable because they just didn't know that they shouldn't do that. That's what you try to prevent," Heidi said.
Heidi is a nurse at the Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center. She's been running the camp, along with other community organizations for 18 years. It's designed to steer kids away from injuries that could be prevented.
"It's amazing when they're home alone what they can get into and maybe what their parents tell them that they shouldn't do is something that they may believe if it comes from someone we consider a professional," Heidi said.
She says the program continues to grow, and focuses on a wide-range of topics.
"We've done everything from railroad safety, kitchen safety, we show them the ambulance," Heidi said.
Paul Jiminez nominated Heidi for the Jefferson Award because of her commitment to the program, and her dedication to the kids.
"She's a cheerleader and they love her. She does a really good job," Jiminez said.
Heidi said the program couldn't go on without the help of other people in the community, but it feels good to know the camp she's so passionate about is making an impact.
"You know, it's just the things that they learn, it's very rewarding to know, I guess that you do make a difference in the community," said Heidi.
It's that passion and motivation to keeping kids safe, that makes her this month's Jefferson Award winner.
If you're interested in enrolling your child in the Safety Day Camp, it starts August 9th. The Jefferson Award is sponsored by Marshfield Clinic.
Online Reporter: Courtney Fasano
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