Winners come from North Vancouver, Oakville, and London.
TORONTO, May 29, 2018 – Three exceptional school crossing guards who go above and beyond the call of duty have been chosen as winners of the 2018 Canada’s Favourite Crossing Guard Contest. The recipients, who are being recognized for their extraordinary contributions to their communities, will receive their awards over the next few weeks.
- CHRISTIAN BEHNKE, NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.: A volunteer crossing guard at Cleveland Elementary School, he leads Grade 6 and 7 students who also volunteer to assist with ensuring roads and crossings are safe. A D.J. by trade, he volunteers to bring music to the schools “Walk & Wheel” days and supports other schools’ activities with his music.
- PIERCE CASEY, LONDON, ONTARIO: He takes care of both the physical safety and emotional health of the 300 students at Evelyn Harrison P.S., taking on the role of confidant and dispute-resolver. He attends school concerts and sporting events as an “honorary grandparent” for students whose family are not available.
- DARNLEY LEWIS, OAKVILLE, ONTARIO: Staff, students and parents at St. Mary Catholic School praise Lewis for his gentle demeanour with students, protecting them from aggressive drivers at a dangerous urban crossing spot. Says one nominee: “He is a foot soldier of safety at the corner of inconsiderate and entitlement.” He also is a hospital volunteer.
Parachute, together with FedEx Express Canada, jointly launched Canada’s Favourite Crossing Guard Contestin 2005 to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of dynamic crossing guards who help keep our children safe. The 2018 winners, who were nominated by people in their communities, make safety a priority each and every day and Parachute and FedEx Express Canada are honoured to recognize these individuals for their efforts. To date, Canada’s Favourite Crossing Guard Contesthas honoured 39 crossing guards nationwide.
“At FedEx Express Canada we put safety above all, both in the workplace and in the communities in which we live and work,” says Pina Starnino, VP Operations, FedEx Express Canada. “Our drivers know the importance of being extra alert around schools and pedestrian crossings since these are the most important stops they make each day.”
Canada’s Favourite Crossing Guard Contest is part of Walk This Way, a pedestrian safety program aimed at reducing the number of child pedestrian injuries by raising driver awareness and making schools more walkable.
“We are proud to recognize the contributions made by these outstanding people who commit to keep their communities safe,” says Steve Podborski, President and CEO of Parachute. “Canada’s Favourite Crossing Guard Contest allows us to showcase the important work of crossing guards across Canada, and recognize three wonderful crossing guards who are committed to protecting children as they make their way to and from school every day.”
About the contest
We received 676 nominations from 14 communities in seven provinces across Canada that were judged by our panel:
- Stephanie Holmes, Social Media Influencer
- Vjosa Isai, Reporter, The Toronto Star
- Steve Podborski, CEO and President, Parachute
- Pina Starnino, VP of Operations, FedEx
The panel scored each candidate in the categories of:
- evidence of support shown for the crossing guard;
- safety record of the crossing guard;
- proactive initiatives the crossing guard has taken; and
- level of involvement of the crossing guard in the community.
The winners receive a crystal maple leaf award and $500. As well, each winner’s school receives $500 provided by FedEx Express Canada.
For more information on the Parachute and FedEx Express Canada Walk This Way program, and on how to help prevent pedestrian injuries, visit parachute.ca.
About FedEx Corp.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $64 billion, the company offers integrated business applications 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 425,000 team members to remain “absolutely, positively” 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 http://about.fedex.com.
Parachute is Canada’s national charity dedicated to reducing the devastating impact of preventable injuries. Injury isthe No. 1 killer of Canadians ages 1 to 44, where one child (0-19 years) dies every nine hours. The financial toll is staggering, with injury costing the Canadian economy $27 billion a year. Through education and advocacy, Parachute works to save lives and create a Canada free of serious injuries. For more information, visit us at parachute.ca and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Contact and to request media interviews:
Kelley Teahen, Director, Communications & Marketing, Parachute