Shelby to keynote annual senior safety camp

Retired WCCO TV News anchor Don Shelby will headline the 13th annual Coon Rapids Senior Safety Camp.

Don Shelby, retired WCCO TV News anchor, will be the keynote speaker at the 13th annual Coon Rapids Senior Safety Camp Sept. 12.
Don Shelby, retired WCCO TV News anchor, will be the keynote speaker at the 13th annual Coon Rapids Senior Safety Camp Sept. 12.

The camp, hosted by Coon Rapids fire and police departments and Coon Rapids Senior Services, will take place at the Coon Rapids Civic Center Wednesday, Sept. 12, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Shelby will be the keynote speaker, talking about his life after retirement from WCCO in November 2010 and how to make the most out of life.

According to Kris Niebler, Coon Rapids Senior Services program specialist, Shelby will also talk about the stroke he suffered while still a news anchor at WCCO and how it did not slow him down.

Shelby’s career began in radio at WFIB in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1965 and after a stint in the U.S. Air Force, he worked in television in Charleston, S.C., and Houston, Texas, before coming to the Twin Cities and WCCO in 1978.

He began anchoring the 10 p.m. news on WCCO in 1985 and in 2000 added a WCCO AM radio show to his resume, hosting the 3 to 6 p.m. time slot until December 2009 .

Shelby has earned top national awards in broadcast journalism, including three national Emmys, the Columbia DuPont Citation, the Scripps-Howard Award for Excellence and two Peabody Awards.

Besides Shelby’s appearance, the safety camp will include other presentations, as well as an expo and outdoor demonstrations, plus lunch and a continental breakfast.

Presentations scheduled include car safety by Scott Schulte, Coon Rapids City Council member and owner of Hi 10 Service Center, Coon Rapids; preventing falls by Kelly Lindall; and home technology by a representative of Mary T, Inc.

An expo of 30 vendors will be set up in the hallway and training room of the civic center, while there will be emergency vehicles for seniors to browse outside plus a presentation on electrical safety by representatives of Connexus Energy.

A Senior Dining lunch will be served promptly at noon with members of the Coon Rapids Fire Department waiting on tables and either a police officer or a firefighter eating lunch with seniors at each table.

There will also be entertainment at 11:15 p.m. in the civic center by Sonny Winberg, country western and swing musician.

And Mary T, Inc. will sponsor a continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m. when registration begins prior to the 9:30 a.m. start of the safety camp.

According to Niebler, the camp is not just about safety, but senior living in general.

“We want to promote a healthy, happy and safe life for seniors,” Niebler said.

That will be exemplified by the vendors who will have displays/booths at the expo, she said.

And in the preventing falls presentation, Lindall will be talking about the “gizmos” and gadgets that are available to seniors today that have a sensor to sound an alarm if a senior falls, rather than having them have to push a button, Niebler said.

In the home technology presentation, seniors will learn about new technology in medication dispensing which will automatically let seniors know if they are taking too little or too much of a medication, she said.

There is a 176-person limit on the number of registrations that can be accepted because of the size of the civic center, according to Niebler.

With Shelby as keynote speaker, she expects a full house for the safety camp, Niebler said.

“He will be the magnet that draws people to the event,” she said.

But participants are required to attend the entire safety camp, Niebler said.

Thanks to community donations, the cost to attend the safety camp, including lunch, refreshments, speakers and door prizes, is $6.

Deadline for registration payment is Wednesday, Sept. 5.

For more information call 763-767-6473.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]