MARQUETTE - A good crowd showed up to Saturday's "Heads U.P. on Safety" event at Marquette Mountain Ski Area, where young children received a free ski helmet and learned about skiing and snowboard safety.
The first 125 children registered for the event, which began at 10 a.m., received a free helmet.
In addition, Jim Grundstrum of the local National Ski Patrol unit gave a presentation on safe ski and snowboard habits.
Hannah Bleckiner, 7, left, and her sister Sarah, 4, pick out their free ski helmets Saturday morning during the “Heads U.P. on Safety” program at the Marquette Mountain Ski Area. Hannah and Sarah were at the event with their mother, Jen Bleckiner of Marquette. (Journal photo by Jackie Stark)
The event was sponsored by Kohl's Cares, Marquette General Hospital's Women's an Children's Center and Marquette Mountain.
"This is the hugest response and we still, I bet, have maybe 30 or 40 children that were here today that we don't have helmets for," said Cynthia Ampe, program director for MGH's Women's and Children's Center.
Children who did not receive a helmet Saturday may be able to receive one at a later date, Ampe added.
"This is our third big helmet event," Ampe said. "Prior to that, we've done some small ones with ski schools but this has just been an awesome way to do it all at one time, get everybody excited and do our safety presentation."
Funds for the helmet were donated by Kohl's through the Kohl's Care program, which collects money earned from the sale of plush toys and books at its store in Marquette to be used for the MGH women's center.
Kohl's presented a $24,641 donation to the center at Saturday's event.
"The importance (of wearing a helmet) is to protect their brains, really," Ampe said. "Children can be impulsive and accidents can happen. That's why they're called accidents, because we don't plan on them getting hurt, but this way we can protect their heads."
Marquette resident K.C. Holder was there with his wife Nicole, and their three children, Will, 9, Arimae, 8 and Jayme, 6.
He said it was important for the kids to wear helmets when they ski or snowboard.
"It's kind of like riding a bike," Holder said. "Just do it, just wear the helmet. I guess that's the bottom line, just to wear your helmet, that it's cool to wear a helmet."
Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.