For decades the Coon Rapids American Legion has sponsored the school patrols at Coon Rapids elementary schools.
And at the end of each school year, the Legion and its Auxiliary host the fifth-grade students who made up the school patrols to a pizza party at the Legion post on Crooked Lake Boulevard.
Cupcakes and slurpees, plus beverages, were also part of the menu for the 2012 school patrol members at the Legion May 21.
According to Jack Rudeen, who chairs the Legion’s school patrol program, the Legion provides the school patrol equipment for the elementary schools and also pays the cost of sending the incoming patrol captains from each school to the Legionville school patrol camp, near Brainerd, over the summer.
There are school patrol programs at Adams, Eisenhower, Hoover, Mississippi, Morris Bye and Sand Creek elementary schools in Coon Rapids.
“I want to thank all the kids that do such a great job every year,” Rudeen said.
Guest speaker Det. Pat Carlson, Coon Rapids Police liaison officer at Coon Rapids Middle School, thanked the Legion for sponsoring a “wonderful, incredible program,” which he said started in the United States in 1920.
And in the years that the program has been operating in Coon Rapids, the police department has no record of any accidents taking place at those schools, Carlson said.
“The police department is very grateful for what the school patrols do helping to make students feel safe,” he said.
“You have taken on a lot of responsibility and we appreciate all the work you have done.”
“You should be super proud of yourselves. You have shown true leadership and it has been a good learning experience for you.”
Coon Rapids American Legion Auxiliary president Helen Steffen as well as Gary Semmel, Coon Rapids Sons of the American Legion commander, also thanked the school patrol students for their work.
Members of the Sons of the American Legion are descendants of World War I veterans.
Peter Bodley is at [email protected]