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Mariners' mascot hits home run for safety
A moose was on the loose Wednesday, at Peace Lutheran School in East Bremerton.
Children shrieked with laughter and cheered as the Mariner Moose donned a bicycle helmet, life vest, elbow pads and seat belt to present home-safety lessons.
Learning how to prevent injury is nothing new to students at the Bremerton-based Christian school. For the past five years students have participated in the Risk Watch and Learn Not to Burn programs sponsored locally by Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue.
The Moose sighting was an added bonus.
While the baseball team mascot stayed in character and kept his Moose lips zipped, Darius Jones, publications and outreach manager for the Seattle Mariners spoke on his behalf.
He hears we have great fans out here in Bremerton and wants to see the kids, Jones said.
Mariner Moose danced, demonstrated a car seat, and kept his fans laughing as Jones talked about the safety equipment. He then proclaimed all the kids Safety All-Stars.
Safeco and the Mariners sponsored the Moose to make a 30-minute appearance at five schools participating in the Risk Watch program. CKFR nominated Peace Lutheran, in part, because it was the first school in Central Kitsap to try the program.
Risk Watch is a national outreach that targets children pre-kindergarten to the eighth-grade. It has curriculum for eight specific areas of injury-prevention including water safety, bike safety and avoiding poisons.
CKFR has spent about $20,000 in the past four years to provide all the materials. Although the number of classes participating vary each year, the program has a strong following, CKFR officials said.
But not quite as strong as the Moose.
The children and teachers were decked out in teal and navy blue garb. They squealed at a Mariners highlight film and went wild as the Moose poked his head in the gymnasium.
He and Jones gave tips on how a bike helmet should fit and brought about a chorus of giggles when the Mooses caboose became stuck in a standard-sized car seat.
The more you emphasize (safety) at school, the more they use it at home, said Rita Kubert, administrative assistant for Peace Lutheran. She worked with the fire department to get the most famous of all mooses to visit.
The school has about 215 students preschool through the eighth-grade.
Even the older ones were excited about the whole thing, Kubert said.