By GABRIELLE SHIOZAWA
Moapa Valley Progress
Superheroes are everywhere. Superman and Batman are plastered across store windows; Wonder Woman and Spider-Man are in theaters across the world; the Hulk and Captain America are featured on toys, clothing, stamps, and even soda cans. These heroes are universally known.
But the heroes that we don’t recognize enough don’t come with any super powers. Instead, they are armed with courage, selflessness, and quick thinking. These are our pilots, firefighters, paramedics and policemen.
And that was exactly what the Overton library did last Friday when they hosted their annual “Everyday Heroes” event. The “Heroes” segment has been a part of the Summer Reading Program for three years now, and it serves as a way to honor everyday heroes in Moapa Valley. It also allows young children to become familiar with emergency responders so that emergencies will seem less scary.
Every year, more and more officials come to the event. The Overton librarians plan to keep building the program and adding to it every year.
For the event, the parking lot at the library was sectioned off, allowing for fire trucks, police cars, and booths to be displayed. Community members meandered from station to station, talking to local officials and learning about the work they do.
Local Mercy Air pilots landed at the end of the parking lot and allowed children to climb into the helicopter and look around. Metro Police officers handed out sticker badges that reminded kids to buckle up and be safe. Firefighters helped fend off the blazing summer heat by letting children take turns using their firehose. Other community members explored ambulances and police cars.
A new booth this year came from the National Wildlife Refuge in Moapa. They offered coloring books and guides for recognizing local varieties of birds, plants, and snakes. Official David Stone said, “We’re planning on coming [to the event] every year now. Not a lot of people know about the refuge, and we’d like for more people to visit. It is for the people, after all.”
The National Wildlife Refuge is open from September to May, and Stone encourages community members to visit.
Young Zachary Proffitt said that he enjoyed all of the stations at the “Everyday Heroes” program, but his favorite part was the police cars.
Parent Melina Proffitt commented, “We love the Summer [Reading] Program… Having local emergency crews is a huge thing, and they’re here to help us. [Zachary] loves to see the fire trucks and police trucks when they drive by.”
This Friday, the Summer Reading Program will feature a puppet show at 11:15 am.