Buckle Up for Safety: Someone Needs You

Did you know that wearing your seat belt can reduce your risk of death by 45% and serious injury by 50% in the event of a serious crash? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among those ages 1-54 in the U.S. At Henrico County, we care about you and don’t want you to become just another statistic.

You may have noticed some new signage recently put up around our Government complexes reminding you to buckle up! “We have had several incidents through the years of employees that have been involved in some serious accidents who have not been wearing seat-belts. We want our employees to be safe. We want to make another effort to remind people to wear their seat-belts,” said Jason Young, Division Manager of Risk Management.

There are now a total of 10 signs around different government locations within the County. “The idea behind the sign is to be more friendly and less regulatory,” said Young, “choosing a bright red seat belt, people will remember a picture or image before words, so the colored seat belt, we hope, really sticks with people.” Risk Management partnered with Traffic Engineering and the Department of Public Works on the overall look and design of the new signs.

There are mandatory seat belt laws in almost every state and in Virginia the law requires everyone under the age of 18 to be seat belted as well as any passengers in the front seat of vehicles, regardless of age. If not, you can be pulled over and are looking at the chance of being ticketed, fined or even seriously injured. Between seat belt safety checks at our depots, reminders in defensive driving classes and now signs around the County, the hope is that employees will take a moment and remember to buckle up and make it home safe to friends, family and loved ones.

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Christmas Mother Reflections

The mission of the Henrico Christmas Mother is to provide assistance in the form of food, new clothing, books, and toys to qualifying Henrico families, disabled adults, and seniors during the holiday season. The campaign run by our Henrico County departments run collect and raise money for this mission is so much more! We were able to catch up with chair members Rebecca Slough and Tanya Harding to really reflect on this year’s campaign:

  1. How is the Christmas Mother campaign different this year from campaigns in the past?
    “We decided to do something a little different this year, similar to schools, is to invite our Henrico Christmas Mother or a previous Christmas Mother to come to our various events being sponsored by departments so they can not only enjoy the events, but to thank all that come by to support it. We also have heard that a couple of departments have done other events throughout the year to help the campaign and not just during the campaign timeframe.” – Rebecca Slough
  2. What has the response been like to events so far?
    “The response has been overwhelming. We have seen all of our favorite events return for another year and a lot of our departments who have not hosted events before hosting events for the first time; like this year we had our first ever ‘Pie a Boss’ and ‘Breakfast with the County Manager.’” – Tanya Harding
  3. How do you feel this campaign will inspire next year’s volunteers?
    “Each year we see many returning department coordinators, which I feel those folks enjoy and are inspired to helping such a great and worthy program. The Henrico Christmas Mother campaign is always about neighbors helping neighbors and I think our coordinators get so excited and want to create great events or collection of toys, clothes, books and more to help families have a wonderful holiday season. It is always so exciting for us to see new coordinators in departments as that sparks new ideas and creativity in the campaign.” – Rebecca Slough
  4. What are some of your favorite events you have seen put on?
    “I have to say I love all of the events. Every year I look forward to seeing what events or new ideas our coordinators will come up with. The ‘Pie a Boss’ was very entertaining to watch but all the events mean so much because I know every coordinator and each department took the time to plan and participate. To me that makes them all my favorite.” – Tanya Harding
    “I know this might sound a little cheesy, but I greatly appreciate all the events that folks have created to raise money for the Henrico Christmas Mother… but what is great is seeing departments come together to make their events successful by donating their time to make chili, barbecue, baked potatoes with all the fixings, cookies, cakes, hot dogs and more then to sell to others to all go to a good cause.” – Rebecca Slough
  5. What is the response like from the families who receive the benefits of this campaign?
    “I wish all our coordinators could be in the warehouse on the shopping days to see the smiles on the faces of the families who receive the toys, blankets, gloves, hats, bikes or the funds they have raised it is a feeling I can’t explain.  To walk with a mother as she carefully picks out a book, and toys for her children to open on Christmas morning is so rewarding and to know you made that happen it.  It is pure joy…” – Tanya Harding

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Funn Run with Team Henrico

Runners take your mark. Get set. GO!

If you have ever participated in a run/walk race, whether competitively or just for fun, you have inevitably heard these three commands. On a brisk November morning a group of Henrico employees lined up in the Scott’s Addition area of Richmond to take part in the 2018 Nutzy’s Rotary Funn Run, an untimed 5k run/walk meant to bring the community together and help raise money for noteworthy charities. This year’s event did not fail to deliver.

In addition to the many departments that participated- Henrico County Public Schools, Human Resources, Finance, Recreation & Parks to name a few- the Funn Run was also host to the 68th Henrico Police Academy. The course, a one-mile loop performed three times, was lined with cheering spectators, signs with random facts about the sponsored charities, and a water/junk food station. Along the course, spectators and fellow 5k participants were treated to not only the DJ’s music but also the cadence running of the 68th Police Academy.

Once the 5k was wrapped up the real FUNN started with the kick-off of the first ever block party. During the block party everyone was entertained with a DJ, live band, food trucks, and activities for all ages, including a visit from Nutzy, the Richmond Flying Squirrel. The band, Tëaze, was phenomenal in covering 80’s “hair metal” hits such as “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and “Don’t Stop Believing.” They had everyone singing along.

Being involved in events like the Nutzy’s Funn Run not only allows for engagement in fitness and wellness, but also allows for community bonding and increased employee morale. This bonding was inherently evident this year when school teachers were locked into playing a game of Connect Four against one another. There are so many different departments and divisions within the County that coming together for a 5k run/walk and block party allows everyone to network and socialize with one another as well as with individuals from the community. It’s for these reasons that Henrico County enjoys providing discounted registrations for Team Henrico events like this one. Now that the Nutzy’s Funn Run is complete our eyes are set on the next Team Henrico event- The Monument Avenue 10k.

The 20th annual Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k will be Saturday April 13th. Last year we had a great group of Henrico County employees run the race and a group who helped cheer everyone on. Once again, the Fitness and Wellness Division will be heading up a Team Henrico cheer team to root on all the runners for the 10k. Experience how we get especially loud when we see one of our own! Visit Power Henrico for information about discount codes and to see where on Monument we will be located this year!

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