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Children's Lifejackets Given Away at Local Event

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February 22-26, 2006

5,000 Mustang Survival children's lifejackets to be given away at the Evergreen Sportsmen's Show®

MONROE, WA-An unprecedented commitment to educating families about water safety and avoiding drowning-featuring the giveaway of 5,000 Mustang Survival lifejackets to children 12 and under-will be spotlighted at the 2006 Evergreen Sportsmen's Show®, February 22-26 at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe.

To help kick-off the program, popular Survivor: Pearl Islands star Rupert Boneham will greet showgoers at the show's "Lifejackets for Kids Education Center" from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 22 (opening day) only.

In partnership with Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center and Washington State Parks, the show is launching a new water safety campaign, which combines the latest water safety tips with the giveaway of properly fitted lifejackets for children 12 and under. It represents the biggest commitment of its kind ever by an outdoor adventure show in the United States.

"Lifejackets for Kids" and the appearance by the popular Survivor star are among the many family friendly attractions at this year's show. Other attractions include a huge line-up of sportfishing boats from area dealers, along with a big line-up of fishing and hunting displays and features. For more information, visit www.sportshow.net/monroe.

Manufactured by industry leader Mustang Survival of Richmond, B.C., the lifejackets have been purchased by the show's producer--O'Loughlin Trade Shows--and have a retail value of over $50 each.

As part of the giveaway, children and their parents will participate in a brief "boating safety presentation" that representatives of Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, Washington State Parks and volunteer organizations will be conducting. While children are being fitted with their lifejackets, representatives from Mustang Survival will be on hand to answer questions from parents about the company's lifesaving gear, including its latest inflatable lifejackets and flotation coats "for sale" at the show.

All children 12 and under will receive fitted jackets at the show, or through "rainchecks" offered to families in the event that the show runs out of the proper size for their child.

Now the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children in the United States, drowning can be prevented, according to Dr. Linda Quan, national drowning expert at Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center. In Washington State, 90 children under the age of 15 drowned from 1999-2003.

"In too many cases, drowning deaths could have been avoided if the child had been wearing a properly fitted lifejacket," said Dr. Quan. "This one-of-a-kind initiative is a big step towards avoiding tragic deaths and educating the public about safe conduct in and near the water."

Show manager Bill O'Loughlin said that children under six are admitted free to the show, while tickets for youth 6-16 are $5.00.

"You can't put a dollar figure on a child's life, and we believe this offers a great combination of safety and value for the entire family," said O'Loughlin. "Boating and fishing are two of our region's most popular family pastimes, and enjoying them safely is our paramount goal."

"This is a tremendous safety initiative and it is a wonderful way to introduce families to boating safety," said Terry Rudnick of Washington State Parks Boating Programs. "It's a great extension of the message we've been conveying to boaters for several years."

Washington State regulations require that children 12 years and younger must wear a properly sized U.S. Coast Guard-approved lifejacket on any boat under 19 feet. In addition, all boats (regardless of size) must carry a properly fitting, U.S. Coast Guard-approved lifejacket for every person onboard.

Media Contact: Barry Bartlett
The Bartlett Group, 206.285.0673, barry@bartlettgrouppr.com

About the 2006 Evergreen Sportsmen's Show®

Show hours are 12:00 noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday (Feb. 22-24), 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 25) and 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. on Sunday (Feb. 26). Show parking at the Fairgrounds is FREE.

Admission for adults is $9 and juniors (6-16) are admitted for $5. Children under six are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Discount coupons, valid for $2 off adult admission on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday only (Feb 22, 23 and 24) will be available at participating Western Washington KeyBank and Les Schwab locations, and on-line at www.sportshow.net/monroe.

For more information on the event, contact O'Loughlin Trade Shows, producers of consumer shows for over 70 years, at 503.246.8291 or on the Web at www.sportshow.net/monroe.

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