The Coon Rapids American Legion and Ladies Auxiliary have supported the school patrol program at Coon Rapids elementary schools for decades.
One measure of that support is the annual school patrol party that the Legion and Auxiliary host at the post home on Crooked Lake Boulevard.
School patrol students, both fourth- and fifth-graders from six Coon Rapids elementary schools, attended the 2013 party April 30.
Schools represented were Adams, Eisenhower, Hoover, Mississippi, Morris Bye and Sand Creek elementary schools.
Ronald McDonald was a special guest at the party at which pizza, cupcakes made by Auxiliary members, ice cream and beverages were served.
According to Jack Rudeen, who chairs the school patrol program committee, the Legion and Auxiliary provides all the school patrol equipment for the schools.
In addition, 12 students, two from each school, will be sent to the Legionville school patrol camp on North Long Lake near Brainerd for a week in July, all expenses paid.
Guests speakers at the party were Coon Rapids Police Chief Brad Wise and Det. Pat Carlson, police liaison officer at Coon Rapids Middle School, where many of the fifth-graders at the party will be attending next school year; the others will be going to Northdale Middle School.
“We thank you for your partnership with the police department to keeping your classmates safe throughout the year,” Wise said.
“You have done a wonderful job. As police chief, I certainly appreciate your hard work.”
According to Carlson, the school patrol is a “wonderful program” and since its inception in Coon Rapids in 1970, there have been no incident/crashes of any kind at intersections where the school patrols have been on duty.
The school patrol program officially had its start in the St. Paul School District in 1921, although the Men’s Club in Chicago, Ill., had a similar program in 1920, Carlson told the students.
Helen Steffen, Coon Rapids Ladies’ Auxiliary president, welcomed the students.
“You have been so good to all the other children in your schools,” Steffen said. “It is wonderful that you help them.”
As a retired second- and third-grade teacher, she said appreciated the work of the school patrol students.
Rudeen emceed the program, while Jim Dingle, Coon Rapids American Legion chaplain, gave an opening prayer.
Peter Bodley is at [email protected]