Drowning Prevention for Teens
Scout's deed a real life saver — Marysville boy's kiosk holds jackets
By Theresa Goffredo
Republished with the permission of the Everett Herald
MARYSVILLE -- Other ones made out of plastic have fallen apart. But Cole Boren believes the wooden kiosk he built with his own hands will weather the test of time.
Boren, 15, built the kiosk as part of his Eagle Scout project. Inside the kiosk are 40 life jackets that water lovers and boaters to Twin Lakes County Park now can borrow free of charge.
Though the 2001 swim season is over, the loaner life jackets will be available during the 2002 summer season and for years to come to ensure people enter the lakes safely.
"I'm pretty glad I got the chance to do this for people and for families who don't have life jackets," Boren said. "Now there's less risk of having someone drown, and I know it can save a life and help a lot."
Boren, a Marysville-Pilchuck High School student, built the 12 by 4-foot kiosk with help from his father, Kelly, and scouts and leaders from Troop 44. All told, the project took about 160 hours to complete.
Lowe's hardware store in Smokey Point and a private citizen, Pat Kirchner, donated materials, and Providence Everett Hospital Foundation provided a grant to pay for signs and roofing materials. The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol donated the life jackets.
With just a few merit badges left to go until he earns the rank of Eagle Scout, Boren is confident the kiosk project will reward him the highly sought after scout honor.
"It turned out to be fun, and I learned how to use certain tools, like the power saw," Boren said.
Cole worked in conjunction with the Snohomish County SAFE KIDS Coalition. The coalition is made up of hospitals, fire departments, police agencies and private businesses.
"This program helps save lives and helps make people more aware of the need for life jackets — that they are there for a purpose," said Cole's mom, Lori Boren, who is active in the SAFE KIDS Coalition as an employee of the Snohomish County Fire Marshal's Office.
The jackets are available in the self-serve kiosk using an honor system. They are for children and adults.
The SAFE KIDS program is modeled after one that has been in place since 1992 in King County, where there have been four documented cases in which loaner life jackets have prevented drowning.
"We're hoping to increase life-jacket use by making them more accessible. We also want to raise public awareness about water safety," Lori Boren said.
You can call Herald Writer Theresa Goffredo at 425-339-3097 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.