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McGury, hospital foundation to be honored by KidsMatter; Westlake one of 25 national ‘Young Heroes’ prize winners; Safety skill training being offered Saturday at Safety Town – Chicago Tribune

A free event to learn hands-on safety skills training will be held from 9 am to noon Saturday, Sept. 24, at the Safety Town campus, 1320 Aurora Ave.

The Safety Town Preparedness Open House is hosted by Safety Town, FEMA and the American Red Cross. September is National Preparedness Month during which people are encouraged to learn what to do before a disaster hits and to take the steps to protect themselves and their loved ones.

The event will include preparedness games, hands-on safety skills training and information on how to protect oneself during unexpected emergencies. The American Red Cross will demonstrate hands-only CPR training.

KidsMatter will recognize former Naperville Park District Executive Director Ray McGury at his Empower Gala on Friday, Sept. 23.

McGury, who previously served as Bolingbrook police chief and a Naperville police captain, serves on the KidsMatter Advisory Board. He is currently the executive director of the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association.

KidsMatter is a nonprofit group that encourages kids to say no to destructive behaviors.

“Ray has been a great leader focused on supporting young people, both in his capacity as Park District executive and in his policing career,” KidsMatter Executive Director Nina Menis said in a news release. “He had been a valued and insightful advisor to KidsMatter and a champion for the well-being of kids throughout our community.”

Edward-Elmhurst Foundation also will be recognized for a mental health grant that will help KidsMatter develop a program for high school seniors to study and intern in mental health and pharmacy fields for high school and college credit.

For tickets or more information, go to kidsmatter2us.org/empower.

Naperville resident Lucy Westlake, 18, was one of 25 winners of the 2022 Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes given to outstanding young leaders who make a positive impact on their communities, the environment and others.

Westlake founded LucyClimbs, which has raised more than $30,000 to bring safe water technology to the developing world. She uses her passion for mountain climbing to raise awareness to the world’s water crisis and encourages her peers to raise funds for the cause, a news release announcing the prize winners said.

Westlake, the youngest American woman to summit Mt. Everest, has hosted shoe drives and sells LucyClimbs merchandise to support her mission. She began her work to raise funds for safe water after corresponding with a pen pal in Uganda who walked two miles daily to get water, the release said.

In 7th grade, she discovered a nonprofit group, WaterStep, which installs sustainable chlorinators and helped her pen pal’s village receive a chlorinator.

She also worked with 10 area high schools to organize shoe drives every March on World Water Day.

The Gloria Barron Prize was established in 2001 by author TA Barron and recognized individuals from ages 8 to 18 years old. Every year, the 15 top winners receive $10,000 each to support their service work or higher education.

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