by MATTHEW NASH
One Eagle Scout candidate is hoping to save lives and cracked bones with his project.
Sequim High School junior Matthew Cays, 17, completed installation of a free helmet rack at Sequim Skate Park in Carrie Blake Park.
He and seven other scouts with Sequim Troop 90 worked on the project for a week and a half leading up to installation at the park on June 2.
Cays said one of his classmates had a recent accident at the park and he wanted to help.
“I wanted to do something for safety,” he said. “I felt I’m accident-prone and there’s maybe one year in Scouts that I haven’t ended up in the hospital.”
Cays consulted Jeff Edwards, Sequim city parks manager, who recommended the project.
Paul Haines, Sequim public works director, said the helmets are free for children and adults to use and when they are done to put them back.
The city is open to helmet donations and already has purchased some from Mike’s Bikes.
Community members pushed for action after what many called the first serious crash at the park.
On Aug. 16, 2011, 15-year old Sara Mobley crashed while riding and was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center with severe head trauma.
Stacey DelaBarre-Martin, a friend of the Mobley family, created a safety award to give a $50 cash card a month to a random child at the skate park for wearing a helmet.
Olympic Mailing Services sponsored the first award, which went to scooter rider T. J. Olejniczak.
“I think it’s great and it’s what I wanted,” DelaBarre-Martin said. “Hopefully kids will wear helmets and we won’t have any injuries flown to Harborview anymore.”
Sequim Skate Park allows skateboards, bicycles, rollerblades and scooters, and helmets are required, with signs posted at both entrances.
DelaBarre-Martin said some riders will be receptive.
“A few of them will continue to think helmets are no big deal and a few of them will wear them because they are available or see someone crash and decide to wear one,” she said.
To make a helmet donation, contact the City of Sequim’s Community Development and Public Works, 615 N. Fifth Ave., at 683-4908.
Cays plans to finish a few more merit badges before his court of honor award ceremony.
For more on Boy Scout Troop 90, contact Scoutmaster Karl Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org
The troop meets at 7 p.m. Mondays in Trinity United Methodist Church, 100 Blake Ave.