Started by Mothers...
The Founders of Katie's Foundation launched Safety Village of Western Springs in memory of Katie Satkamp, who tragically lost her life at age 7 when her school bus driver proceeded to drive ahead before noticing little Katie hadn't crossed the street. We are dedicated to teaching safety that SAVES LIVES to Kindergarteners and First Graders in and around the Village of Western Springs.
In 1982, three sisters were riding the bus home from elementary school in Hinsdale. As the bus stopped near their home, the three sisters grabbed their school bags and exited the bus. Tragically, the bus driver drove away without noticing seven year old Katie Satkamp was still walking in front of the bus to her house. Katie lost her life that day. Through their grief, The Satkamp Family decided to honor Katie's life and protect local children and families from sharing a similar experience. Safety Village of Hinsdale was founded in Katie's name and has had over 30 years of success in teaching young children best safety practices.
In 2010, Amy Satkamp Avakian and Mandy Satkamp Wichman, joined forces with a few friends in Western Springs to continue honoring their sister Katie by founding Safety Village of Western Springs. With the help of many safety professionals in Western Springs, Safety Village educates children on 55 facets of safety through books, games, video and stimulations. Each day, our campers learns valuable, life saving lessons with accompanying take home materials to foster relevant safety discussions at home.
While at camp, children delight in driving pedal cars through the streets of a miniature Western Springs practicing good safety mixed with lessons, songs, movies and live characters. The village is designed creatively with small buildings representing local businesses, including Clever Girl, Community Bank of Western Springs, Kirschbaum's Bakery, Uptown Shop, Vie, DMS Photography, Y and Z Kids, mini Riordan House, Police and Fire Stations, Snackers, Little Monkey Bizness, Thomas Ford Library, and Western Springs Historical Society’s signature Water Tower.
The Western Springs Safety Village is run by a volunteer Board of Directors: Amy Satkamp Avakian (Founder), Mandy Satkamp Wichman (Founder), Lise Braithwaite (Founder), Lee Rosenberg (Founder), Katie Sperry (2012), and Kelly Hartford (2014). Recreation Department Staff, Tracy Alden, Rita Ligeikis and Abby McEntee, are instrumental in managing enrollment and staffing of the many young volunteers that assist the camp each year.