ASHLAND, Mo., Feb. 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- After a nationwide contest to recognize and honor local crossing guard heroes, and with nearly 90,000 votes by appreciative supporters, Safe Kids Worldwide and FedEx revealed the winner of the America's Favorite Crossing Guard contest: Chief Lyn Woolford of Ashland, MO.
Chief Woolford has been a crossing guard for five years and a public servant for more than 40 years. He wears many hats: police chief, city administrator, building code official, traffic director and school crossing guard. The students know and love him for his other hats – Chief Woolford is often seen on duty wearing comical hats decorated as parrots, chickens, tacos and cartoon characters. He is valued by Southern Boone Schools and works closely with the district to improve pedestrian safety and traffic flow in the area. Safe Kids and FedEx will award $10,000 to the Southern Boone School District as Chief Lyn Woolford's first place prize to be used for future road safety projects.
"Chief Woolford has made such a difference in our community," said Jenny Brooks, coordinator for Safe Kids Columbia. "Ashland has grown so quickly in the past few years, so Chief's attention to safety has been critical for the area. We are so grateful to have such a wonderful advocate to help keep our kids safe."
Chief Woolford is in excellent company, as one of the 169 crossing guards nominated by appreciative communities across the country. The extraordinary finalists include second place winner Sarah Mason of Hagerstown, MD, awarded $7,500 for Bester Elementary School. Mason has been a crossing guard in the community for 50 years. In third place is Oby Perdue of Barberton, OH, an air force veteran and community hero, awarded $5,000 for Barberton Middle School.
Although crossing guards are often unheralded, they provide an essential service to our children. A 2016 research report by Safe Kids Worldwide, made possible with support from FedEx, revealed that nearly 80 percent of students observed do not cross the street safely. With the guidance of these intrepid and indomitable heroes, our children stay safe.
Safe Kids and FedEx launched the America's Favorite Crossing Guard campaign to raise awareness about the tremendous contribution that crossing guards make to keeping kids safe in school zones.
"With both kids and drivers more distracted than ever, pedestrian deaths continue to rise," said Kristin Rosenthal, Senior Program Manager, Safe Kids Worldwide. "Crossing guards are an important line of defense, helping keep kids safe as they cross the street on their way to school. We are thrilled to honor Chief Woolford for all the work he has done in this area."
"At FedEx, we are committed to protecting kids on the road," said Matthew Thornton, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, FedEx Freight. "America's Favorite Crossing Guard is a unique opportunity for Safe Kids Worldwide and FedEx to join together to raise awareness about the important work crossing guards do every day across the United States and to encourage students, parents and communities to show appreciation to these unsung civic heroes."
This is the third year Safe Kids Worldwide has named America's Favorite Crossing Guard. For more information about the initiative and how to nominate a crossing guard in your community visit safekids.org.
About Safe Kids Safe Kids Worldwide is a nonprofit organization working to prevent childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Throughout the world, almost one million children die of an injury each year, and almost every one of these tragedies is preventable. Safe Kids works with an extensive network of more than 400 coalitions in the U.S. and with partners in more than 30 countries to reduce traffic injuries, drownings, falls, burns, poisonings and more. Since 1988, Safe Kids has helped reduce the U.S. childhood death rate from unintentional injury by 60 percent. Working together, we can do much more for kids everywhere. Join our effort at safekids.org.
About FedEx FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $69 billion, the company offers integrated business solutions through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world's most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 450,000 team members to remain focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. To learn more about how FedEx connects people and possibilities around the world, please visit about.fedex.com.