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Kohl’s Stores Boost Community’s Injury Prevention Power

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

News that we’re collaborating with Kohl’s to make Rochester a safer place is especially welcome in Fairport, perhaps this summer more that ever.

Rochester-area Kohl’s associates will partner with Golisano Children’s Hospital’s pediatric emergency doctors to host a special bike safety event for local kids at Fairport’s 3rd annual Music and Food Festival, noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25.

The safety event celebrates an important stride in  efforts to protect Rochester’s children: that day, Kohl’s Cares for Kids® will present a check for nearly $48,000 to Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong’s Injury Free Coalition for Kids program site. The donation brings much-needed funding to the program, sustaining its efforts to conduct traveling bike safety rodeos, home safety awareness initiatives and seasonal public safety announcements aimed at children and parents.

“Without a doubt, summer is trauma season, and kids’ safety is paramount, whether they’re riding their bikes, driving cars, or just moseying around the house or backyard,” said Lynn Cimpello, M.D., who co-directs the Injury Free program with Anne Brayer, M.D. Both Cimpello and Brayer are attending pediatric physicians in and members of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

“News that we’re collaborating with Kohl’s to make Rochester a safer place is especially welcome in Fairport, perhaps this summer more that ever,” Cimpello said, alluding to the community’s tragic loss of five Fairport High School graduates in a car accident in June. “I don’t think there’s a parent in that close-knit community who hasn’t wondered in the past month how we can all work together to better protect our kids.”

Unintentional injury is the number one killer of children less than 18 years of age in Monroe County, and in 2006 alone, the hospital’s pediatric emergency department saw 9,279 injury-related visits. To hedge against this, the coalition acts like a magnet, drawing together community groups, governmental agencies and others to identify community concerns and address them by developing plans and implementing prevention activities, ranging from car seat safety checks (there were 717 motor-vehicle occupant injuries suffered by local children in 2006), to building safer playgrounds for at-risk inner-city neighborhoods (falls were the most common pediatric injury visit in 2006, totaling 2,696; cuts and pierces were prominent on the list, too, at 707 incidences), to providing helmets to all children who are brought to the pediatric emergency department for treatment of wheeled-sports injuries (among them, 275 child pedal cyclist injuries, to say nothing of rollerblades, Heelys, skateboards and the like).

“We are thrilled that Kohl’s understands the importance of preserving programs like these, which educate children in safety matters,” Brayer said. “Protecting the community’s kids through preventative medicine and education is our mantra here at the children’s hospital; really, at the University of Rochester Medical Center on whole. But we can’t do it without staunch community support.”

The Kohl’s Cares for Kids® hospital partnership program raises funds for children’s health and educational opportunities through the sale of special seasonal gift items located near check-out registers, including CDs, plush animal toys and books. Items cost $5 each and 100 percent of the net profits raised are donated to support children’s initiatives in the market areas served by Kohl’s. The size of the gift varies each year, reflective of how many customers purchased the charity merchandise; Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong benefits from the store promotions at Kohl’s stores located in Henrietta, Greece and Webster.

To celebrate the donation to the Injury Free Coalition for Kids, children can bring their own helmets (or use model ones provided by the coalition) to a special bike safety booth at  the Fairport festival grounds along Liftbridge Lane, just north of Main Street. The safety event, conducted by Jean Triest, traffic safety specialist from the Office of Traffic Safety, will offer helmet-fitting tips, helmet decorating contests, and “Safety IQ” competitions for the chance to win Kohl’s gift certificates. At 1:30 p.m., Matt Lashway, local district manager for Rochester’s Kohl’s stores, will present the donation check to Injury Free Coalition for Kids representatives.

For more information on the Kohl’s Cares for Kidsâ  gift announcement and the related safety event at the Fairport Music and Food Festival, or on how you can make a gift that also supports safety initiatives to protect Rochester’s children, call Larry Kelly at (585) 273-2690.

Kohl’s Department Stores

Based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., Kohl’s is a family-focused, value-oriented specialty department store offering moderately priced national, exclusive and private brand apparel, shoes, accessories, home products and beauty in an exciting shopping environment. A company committed to the communities is serves, Kohl’s operates 834 stores in 46 states and has raised more that $85 million for children’s initiatives nationwide through its Kohl’s Cares for Kidsâ  philanthropic program, which support health and safety initiatives at more that 150 children’s hospitals nationwide. The program also includes a scholarship program for youth volunteers, fundraising gift cards for local schools and nonprofit groups, and an associate program to encourage volunteerism.

 For a list of store locations and information, or for the added convenience of shopping online, visit

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