TORONTO, Jan. 9, 2023 – Canada’s top crossing guards are beloved members of their community who advocate for children’s safety and educate the community about how to make our roads safer.
The 2023 Canada’s Favourite Crossing Guard Contest drew 210 nominations for 40 crossing guards from six provinces. The winners are:
Jenelle Kunkel, St. Clement Catholic School, Etobicoke, Ontario
Jenelle works at a busy urban crossing over four lanes of traffic. One nominator says that Jenelle “has taken the initiative and addressed the multiple traffic infractions with the local police. She has had community police offers attend the intersection to witness the poor driving habits of some of the motorists, so they can assist in forming a plan to make our intersection safer. If that isn’t going above and beyond the call of duty, I don’t know what is.” One of the school’s students wrote that Jenelle’s “kindness shines every day! She plays great music and she plays happy birthday on kids’ birthdays to make them feel special.”
Louise Leduc, École Sainte-Marie, Chambly, Québec
Louise has served as a crossing guard in Chambly for more than 40 years and her nomination says that she has served generations within the same families. She is noted for her “sympathetic ear” and being a confidante to the children she protects. She is a mentor to a team of 19 other crossing guards who work in the same area: one of newest team members says that Louise’s example motivates her to give the best of herself in her new role as a crossing guard.
Tammy Nugent, Park Lawn Junior Middle School, Toronto, Ontario
One nominator describes Tammy as “the gold standard when it comes to being a responsible, caring, willing to physically out herself between kids and danger crossing guard. She knows all of us, knows the kids who are late and waits for them, shows up extra early if there is a sports team try out and has treats for every dog in the neighbourhood.” Says another nominator: “Tammy talks to everyone who passes by and she immerses herself in our community. When she learned of our school’s biggest fundraising event, Tammy volunteered and helped at the BBQ.”
Parachute, Canada’s national charity dedicated to injury prevention, launched this annual contest in 2005 to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of dynamic crossing guards who help keep our children safe. Since 2022, this contest has been supported by Desjardins Insurance, our exclusive road-safety partner.
Each winning guard receives $500, as does each of their schools. “Canada’s Favourite Crossing Guard Contest celebrates those individuals who, in their role as a crossing guard, keep children safe as they are travelling to and from school, and build trust and community,” says Pamela Fuselli, President and CEO of Parachute. “It improves children’s health to be physically active, and we celebrate the crossing guards who enable children to walk or wheel to school safely.”
“Initiatives such as Canada’s Favourite Crossing Guard contest provide much-deserved recognition to the dedicated crossing guards, across Canada, who work to keep children and their communities safe,” says Valérie Lavoie, President and COO Desjardins General Insurance Group. “Desjardins is proud to support Parachute and their efforts to reduce road related injuries and fatalities.”
This year’s judges, who selected the three winners, are:
- Pamela Fuselli, President and CEO, Parachute, Ontario
- Jessica Reid, teacher and social media influencer, Ontario
- Julie Houle, TVA Host, Québec
- Richard Louis, Injury Prevention Co-ordinator, NB Trauma Program, New Brunswick
- Stéphanie Fournier, Vice-President Omnichannel Member/Client Journeys Division, Desjardins General Insurance Group, Québec
For more information on Parachute and our commitment to pedestrian safety, visit parachute.ca.
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To request media interviews:
Kelley Teahen, Vice President, Communications & Marketing, Parachute
416 886-0950 (mobile)
Parachute is Canada’s national charity dedicated to reducing the devastating impact of preventable injuries. Injury is the No. 1 killer of Canadians aged 1 to 44 and the financial toll is staggering, with injury costing the Canadian economy $29.4 billion a year. Through education and advocacy, Parachute is working to save lives and create a Canada free of serious injuries. For more information, visit us at parachute.ca and follow us on on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
About Desjardins Group
Desjardins Group is the largest co-operative financial group in North America and the fifth largest in the world, with assets of $414.1 billion as of September 30, 2023. It was named one of the World’s Top Companies for Women by Forbes magazine. To meet the diverse needs of its members and clients, Desjardins offers a full range of products and services to individuals and businesses through its extensive distribution network, its online platforms, and its subsidiaries across Canada. Ranked among the world’s strongest banks according to The Banker magazine, Desjardins has one of the highest capital ratios and one of the highest credit ratings in the industry.