ELBURN – The death of 13-year-old Caitlyn Phillips stunned the Kaneland community in April.
A memorial tribute continues to sit near the spot on North Third Street where the Kaneland Harter Middle School student collided with a car while inline skating.
When he heard of the memorials and tributes for the popular teen, Elburn Lions Club president Dave Broz said he thought, “it was like how I would describe my own daughter.”
“What happened with Caitlyn was a tragedy,” he said.
When Broz’s daughter, Aubrey, told her father that she felt sad and wanted to do something to honor Caitlyn, the process led to an ambitious project aimed at raising awareness for 7- to 10-year-olds.
The Kids Safety Camp will be from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 5 and 6 at Lions Park, 500 S. Filmore St., Elburn. The camp will be hosted by the Elburn Leo Club, which is the Lions Club’s organization for youths.
The Broz family is highly involved in the organization – with Dave as Lions Club president, his wife, Lara, as a member and Aubrey, as a Junior Leo.
The camp is free, but registration is required by Sunday. The camp will be limited to 40 participants, and 22 had signed up as of Tuesday morning, Lara Broz said. Lunch and snacks will be provided. To register, call 630-365-6315 or visit www.elburnlions.com and download the online application.
The camp will feature several stations, presented by community leaders in their areas of expertise. Among them:
• Drugs and firearms, presented by the Kane County Sheriff’s Department.
• Think First Injury Prevention, presented by Cadence Health System.
• Basic first aid, presented by the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District.
• Fire safety, also presented by the fire department.
• Railroad safety, presented by Operation Lifesaver.
• Roller skating safety, presented by the Barbed Wire Betties DeKalb Roller Derby Team.
• Bike safety, presented by the Elburn Police Department.
• 911 awareness, presented by DeKalb County 911 Dispatch.
• Bullying awareness, presented by the Lions Club, and – specifically – member Chris Halsey.
The funding for the event will come from the Lions Club’s 5K run and fun walk, which will be at 8 a.m. Aug. 17 at Lions Park, during the Lions Club’s Elburn Days celebration. For information about the 5K, visit www.elburnlions.com.
Dave Broz said he had no problem getting organizations to participate, saying that all “immediately wanted to help.”
“It’s just been a really amazing experience to be able to call people and ask for help and keep hearing people say, ‘Yes, what can I do?’ ” he said. “Most people, if they have an opportunity to help someone else, will do that.”
Lara Broz said the hope is that the camp will become an annual event. She said that she can’t imagine what Caitlyn’s family is going through, and said raising awareness is vital.
Dave Broz said it’s the task of the Lions Club to do what it can to provide help when it’s needed in the community.
“It’s our motto – we serve,” he said.
• Al Lagattolla is the news editor of the Kane County Chronicle. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.