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2006 - Earl Colella

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Recipient's Name: 
Earl Colella
Award Recieved: 
Ahren's Advocate of the Year Award

During National Playground Safety Week (April 24-28, 2006), the National Program for Playground Safety recognized an individual that has dedicated his time and energy to advocating and educating for playground safety throughout Connecticut and Michigan. This year, NPPS had an overwhelming number of nominations from highly qualified advocates. NPPS wants to thank all the individuals that are helping us raise awareness about playground safety.

The fifth annual Playground Safety Advocate of the Year Award was given to Earl Colella. Earl is currently working as an engineer for the Safety & Industrial Hygiene Environmental Health and Safety division of the Global Research and Development for Pfizer, Inc. Earl has a lengthy history in playground safety.

In Connecticut Earl served as Playground Safety Chairperson for New London County Safe Kids. While he was there, Earl conducted many training sessions for members of the Playground Safety Committee who in turn took the information back to their respective towns and communities. Earl conducted SAFE orientation trainings for playground supervisors in Montville Public Schools, and for PTO's in many towns in New London County as well as for numerous elementary schools and Girl/Boy Scout Troops. He was also a resource for Schools and Public Works in New London County and assisted with many new playground projects including installing Boundless Playgrounds.

Since being in Michigan, Earl has been working with State Senator Valde Garcia and Representative Joe Hune to communicate playground safety issues in Livingston County and to help their peers understand the need to go to the next phase in Michigan's Playground Safety Efforts. Earl has been communicating through newspapers, radio, TV and in presentations about the importance of proper training and enforcement of playground safety standards to protect children. Earl has conducted Playground Supervisor and SAFE orientation trainings to playground supervisors in the Pinckney area elementary schools and for adults at Pfizer Inc. Ann Arbor, MI.

Earl has even gone as far as to assist NPPS's own Donna Thompson and Susan Hudson with the SAFE presentation at the 2005 ASSE PDC and again for the 2006 ASSE PDC. Earl has shown passion and determination while advocating nationwide for playground safety.

Thanks for all your hard work Earl! NPPS is proud to award Earl Colella with the Ahrens National Playground Safety Advocate of the Year award!

NPPS will continue to recognize individuals for their dedication to making playgrounds safe.