ANKENY, Iowa -- "Had I not filled the role, then the program would have ended," said Mandy Snyder, a nurse at East Elementary. "It was whether somebody was going to step up and take the role or not."
The decades-old program was in danger of ending in Ankeny when Cindy Arbogast, known as the Safety Town Lady, decided to retire.
"When Cindy retired in the summer after the last session, there was talk that maybe the program wouldn't continue," said Snyder. But Snyder couldn't let that happen, so she stepped up to take over the program.
"I truly feel that it's a project that needs to stay in the community," she said. "It benefits a lot of kids and it serves a lot of great purposes for our community."
For years, Safety Town has taught kindergarteners the principles of safety, and because Snyder has stepped up to provide leadership, hundreds of kids will gather this summer at Terrace Elementary to learn valuable lessons.
But Snyder could use some help.
"At the moment, it's my family and friends that are willing to come and help me," said Snyder.
Volunteers are welcome.
"We'd take any high school students that might be trying to earn their Silver Cord," said Snyder. "We would take any Girl Scout troops, Boy Scout troops that might want to earn some volunteer hours."
And donations are needed.
"We are in desperate need of bicycles," said Snyder. "Preferably some that might have training wheels, as some of those little kindergarteners don't quite know how to ride a two-wheeler yet, and so we're looking for anywhere from 15-20 bikes would be wonderful."
The bicycles don't have to be new, but they do have to be in working condition. Anyone interested in helping out in any way can contact Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org.