On a cool windy day, Fremont County Head Start staff, sponsors, dignitaries and community members gathered to celebrate Safety Town USA on April 16.

The event opened with the American Legion Post 13 members raising the flag, followed by American Legion Past State Commander Tim Grabin playing “To the Colors“ and two high school seniors singing the “National Anthem.”

After the music, Head Start Director Chris Henager dedicated the event to a special person.

“This year, we would like to introduce you to Mayor Buck Wenzel,” Henager told the crowd at the ribbon cutting ceremony. “Mayor Wenzel is the mayor of Silver Cliff and the municipal court judge in Williamsburg. He has served 40 years in law enforcement and eight years as a deputy coroner for Custer County. He is in his second term as the (Council of Governments) COG chairperson. He has also served our country in the United States Air Force. As board chairman for the COG, Buck has been an advocate and a dedicated supporter, not only for Fremont County Head Start, but early childhood in general. Mr. Wenzel's passion and dedication for children (in) Colorado is definitely appreciated. We would like to dedicate this year's Safety Town to Mayor Wenzel.”

Upper Arkansas Area Council of Governments Executive Heather Evans also thanked the mayor.

“Thank you for everything you do for Head Start and for COG,” she said. “We appreciate you.”

Wenzel said he was honored.

“From the United States Air Force until today, I don't do what I do to be recognized, so I really appreciate this,” he said. “I gladly serve on behalf of you, your staff, all the teachers, all the volunteers and all the people who make Head Start what it is.”

Following his remarks, Henager presented several pieces of artwork from the children at Head Start and a plaque to him.

“We'd also like to thank the Florence Chamber of Commerce for providing the ribbon,” she said.

At that point, Mayor Wenzel and several children cut the ribbon, followed by the beginning of Safety Town USA, where numerous children arrived to participate in the various demonstrations to learn about safety until noon April 18.