Quick News: Police Chief Fetes D89 Crossing Guards; Maywood Rotary Dedicates Thousands To Local Service Projects

Tuesday, May 23, 2014 || By Michael Romain

Community crossing guards are given the spotlight at tribute breakfast

Crossing Guards
Crossing guards waiting for the awards breakfast to begin at Kathy’s Kitchen. (Photo by Michael Romain for The Village Free Press).

MAYWOOD–Maywood’s crossing guards were treated to breakfast on the Chief last Thursday at Kathy’s Kitchen. Before the orders were placed, Maywood Police Chief Valdimir Talley presented Dennis Moran, the owner of the restaurant, with a certificate of appreciation for being so accommodating.

Along with Chief Talley, Deputy Chief Elijah Willis, Sgt. Welch (who supervises all part-time staff), District 89 Security Coordinator Jessie F.X. Ingram and Community Relations Officer Pirsia Allen were also on hand to pay tribute to the guards, who Chief Talley said play a vital role in the safety and protection of the community’s children.

“They’re out in all of the elements–rain and snow–to make sure our kids get to school safely and, at the end of the day, return home safely,” Talley said, before apologizing to the people whose importance too often goes overlooked by the public at large.

“But that’s going to change,” the Chief said. “You are the eyes and ears of our community.”

Chief Talley and the police department have been working closely with Mr. Ingram (who is also in charge of security and policing at the Maywood Park District) on various aspects of public safety. But this day, it was all about the guards.

The typical school crossing guard is retired from a previous occupation or career, older in age and upstanding in the community.

“There’s a background screening they have to go through,” the Chief said. “They have to be of good moral character and dependable.”

Alonzo Clay had worked for the Village for 25 years before retiring in 1991. After retirement, he became a crossing guard. He’s been one for 20 years.

“I love everything about it,” Clay said. “It’s a wonderful experience, but I’m thinking about retiring soon.”

(Left to right: Alonzo Clay; Sgt. Welch and Chief Talley present certificates to crossing guards; a guard receives her certificate; Dennis Moran receives a certificate of appreciation from Chief Talley).

Alonzo ClaySgt. Welch and Chief TalleyCrossing Guard receives certificateChief Talley presents certificate to Dennis Moran

Maywood Rotary Club raises thousands for local service projects

Rotary Recipients 2013
2013 Rotary check recipients pose for a photo at the Meal of the Day Cafe in Eisenhower Tower. (Photo by Maywood Rotary).

According to longtime Rotarian and Club President Gary Woll, the Maywood Rotary Club raised nearly $13,000 for its 2013-2014 fiscal year, 60 percent of which will go toward local area service projects and 40 percent of which will go toward international ones. Local recipients include: YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, Aspire, Ronald McDonald House, Autism The Answer, Maywood Tennis Association, Maywood Park District, Cub Scout Troop, Maywood Fine Arts Association, Operation Uplift, Fred Hampton Scholarship Fund, PADS (homeless assistance) and NAMI (mental health).

Earlier this year, the Club also gave a $500 scholarship to a Melrose Park student to help alleviate the costs of attending Oxford College in England. In addition to giving to other projects, the Club continued its own tradition of service, buying and distributing 1,700 dictionaries to every third grader in District 89. It also threw a pizza party for the more than 200 third graders in the district who completed a reading series.

International donations went to the Rotary Foundation in its fight against the global polio epidemic, the Doctor Schweitzer Hospital in Haiti, Doctors Without Borders, Shelter Box to the Phillipines, a literacy project in Guatemala, a Bolivian prosthetic clinic and humanitarian organizations in Pangea and Fistula.

According to Woll, the Rotary raises funds through its annual auction, which drew approximately $8,600 last year. The auction will be held again on November 1st of this year. The Club also raised about $2,500 in funds with its taxi service. For $35 (no tipping), the service “will take you or pick you up from the airports, bus or train depots. For other destinations the price is negotiated.” For more information, call (708) 345-2706, or email garywoll@comcast.net. VFP

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