The Snowball Effect As the adage goes, “When I was your age, I had to…
It was a real treat for Best Foot Forward (BFF) to share pedestrian safety materials and information at socially-distanced, Halloween and Autumn-themed events and to present to six Rotary Clubs this past month. Below is a recap of some recent community outreach.
Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Spooktacular Drive-thru Trunk-or-Treat Event
Seminole County Sheriff’s Office got creative this year to host its annual Spooktacular event with a trunk-or-treat drive-thru. Most of the trunk-or-treat vehicles were sponsored by SCSO departments, but they also invited a few community partners like Best Foot Forward (BFF) to host a booth. BFF used the opportunity remind drivers of the Florida yield law and share pedestrian safety tips and materials with the children.
This was a no touch, social distancing event, but BFF was able to speak to the attendees from a distance as they drove past. There were 703 tracked vehicles that drove through with approximately 4,000 children receiving goody bags. BFF’s Roni waved and reminded children a few safety tips like looking left-right-left before crossing the street and to use a crosswalk when they can.
This was a high energy event with a lot of flashing patrol car lights and loud Halloween music. The SCSO’s helicopter did a fly-over. Deputies were delighted to see that the most popular costume was a policeman costume. Sheriff Lemma greeted booth hosts before the event began, as well as the vehicle occupants, and was happy to see BFF participating. The event was so well attended that it ran over schedule. As always, the SCSO Spooktacular was great fun for all.
Curry Ford West Main Street & Real Life Church Walk Thru Trunk-or-Treat
The BFF table received a steady flow of socially-distanced walkers through the entire event at the Curry Ford West Main Street & Real Life Church Walk-thru Trunk-or-Treat. BFF’s Roni Wood spoke to parents about the Florida law requiring children under 16 to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle and Florida’s driver yield law. She also reminded children to watch for drivers and gave them safety tips to keep them safe tonight on Halloween.
Parents praised Roni and BFF for coming out to the neighborhood and spreading awareness about pedestrian and bicycling safety in a fun, community event. The event was high energy and busy with 1,113 children receiving candy.
College Park Spark! By Main Street College Park
Neither wind nor rain (sprinklers) nor power outage could stop Best Foot Forward’s (BFF) Roni Wood from educating the College Park community about pedestrian and bicycling safety. BFF hosted a table on a breezy Saturday evening at College Park Spark!, a free socially-distanced stroll along Edgewater Drive.
The evening had a quite comical start with a brief power outage of the event lights for this nighttime event. Next the sprinklers at the park came on soaking some vendor tables, and the approaching Hurricane Eta winds blew up tablecloths and anything that was not weighed down. However, OUC came out and quickly fixed the lights. Vendors rallied, helping each other reposition tables and weigh down supplies. The event started on time despite the spirited set-up, and the night went well with a steady flow of attendees to the BFF table.
People were interested in listening to BFF’s messages and gladly picked up iY4Peds magnets and educational materials. Roni pointed out the engineering changes at Edgewater Drive & Shady Lane and warned that Orlando Police Department will enforce Florida’s driver yield law there the following Tuesday. She also discussed changes along Edgewater Drive making it one of the first complete streets in the area.
City of Orlando Commissioner Robert Stuart stopped by to say hello and pose for a quick photo. He said he’s looking forward to Operation BFF this week, which he plans to observe in College Park. Roni also met with Amelia Harrison, executive director of College Park Main Street, and Emily Thompson, BFF partner at City of Orlando, who were also working the event. College Park is a great community, and BFF was honored to be invited here to share pedestrian safety and driver education.
Rotary Clubs Members Yield for Pedestrian Safety Presentation
Rotary Clubs across Central Florida welcomed Best Foot Forward to present at their meetings via live, online and hybrid formats this past month. Members at Rotary Clubs in Orlando, Lake Buena Vista, Lake Mary, Horizons West , Winter Garden and College Park learned about the pedestrian safety program and voiced some pedestrian safety concerns in their communities. More than 175 Rotary Club members heard the message over the past month and promised to help spread the word.
City of Orlando Commissioner and College Park Rotarian Robert Stuart was on the Rotary Club of College Park ZOOM presentation and was able to provide some additional insight on the crosswalks and streets in the area. Thanks to all the Rotarians for welcoming Best Foot Forward to speak.
If your club or organization is interested in scheduling a Best Foot Forward presentation, please contact us at [email protected].org
SODO District’s Flower & Garden Show
Best Foot Forward (BFF) hosted a table at the SODO District’s Flower & Garden Show at Orlando Brewing parking lot. This event was originally scheduled for SODO Plaza but location moved due to COVID-19. There was a steady flow of attendees who stopped by the tent, and BFF’s Roni Wood distributed iY4Peds magnets, spoke about the rules of a crosswalk and about the BFF program.
Quite a few attendees ride bicycles regularly and picked up an Orlando Bicycle Trails map. They were excited to talk about the nearby upcoming bicycle trail extension from the Orlando Urban Trail to Michigan Avenue in SODO and are looking forward to a bike-friendly way for residents of South Orlando to commute to the Downtown Orlando area. There were other vendors at the event with gift ideas, flowers for sale, live music as well as food & beverages. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon to be at an event like the Flower & Garden Show, and BFF was pleased to attend and educate SODO residents.