TAMPA, Fla., Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- St. Joseph's Children's Hospital kicked off its 16th Annual "Kids Are Heroes" contest with a Passport to Safety event for nearly 70 first-grade students from Rampello Elementary School on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, at the Tampa Bay Times Forum . (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121114/DC13805) During the event, the students navigated through fun and interactive safety activities highlighting water, fire, bicycle and pedestrian safety, along with the importance of hand washing and good nutrition. In addition, former Tampa Bay Lightning Team Captain and All-Star Player Brian Bradley worked with the students at a physical activity station called "Get Moving" as Tampa Bay Lightning team mascot ThunderBug and members from the Lightning Girls cheered on the kids. The event marked the start of the nomination period for this year's "Kids Are Heroes" contest, which will last until Dec. 31, 2012. "During this time, we encourage parents, teachers and loved ones to brag a bit about the amazing kids in their lives," said St. Joseph's Children's Hospital Chief Operating Officer Kimberly Guy. "We want to hear about the wonderful things kids are doing to make a positive impact at home and in our community. Then we'll share their stories and celebrate their accomplishments during a special ceremony early next year." Since 1996, St. Joseph's Children's Hospital has recognized more than 1,400 children between the ages 5 and 18 from Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk counties who have performed heroic deeds or displayed acts of selflessness and good citizenship through its "Kids Are Heroes" program. Some examples of past winners include children who have pulled an accident victim from a burning car, saved a sibling from a dog attack, donated their hair to make wigs for cancer patients and called 911 to help their relative suffering from a heart attack. Top winners are chosen by pediatric patients at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital, making it the only program in the area designed for and judged by kids.