By Mark Browning
Josh the Baby Otter made his annual appearance at Lyons Elementary last week, much to the delight of kindergartners at the school.
Josh’s visit was sponsored by the Lyons Lions Club, which began the program last year after being contacted by the father of two Pinewood Springs boys who
drowned in the Little Thompson River after venturing into the water during a game with other children.
The Lions Club agreed that a water safety program for young children was a good idea in a community where two rivers converge. All elementary school classes received a visit from Josh last year, along with a book including a story on water safety.
This year’s visit was limited to kindergartners who were not at Lyons Elementary last year. The students were thrilled with Josh, and quickly picked up on the main lessons of the story read to them from their new books: never swim without an adult present and learn to float on your back in the water.
Helping with the program this year was Leo Club member Samantha Rieck, who solved the Lions Club’s biggest hurdle in staging the event: who would fit in the otter suit?