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Donated vests help provide safe passage for children

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM SODDERS –  Volunteer Bill McLain, second from left, donning a donated yellow safety vest, ferries a family safely across the street from Franklin Elementary School Tuesday afternoon.

Tragedy struck last spring when Franklin Elementary second grader Christian Maxon was killed in a car accident as he was crossing the street near the school.

Two local businessmen, Lonnie Hogeland of L. Hogeland Auto Plaza LLC and Dave Adland of Adland Engraving and Screen Printing, donated bright safety vests for school crossing guards to use as they ferry children off school grounds before and after classes.

“Lonnie expressed the desire to provide items for the school district for the safe crossing of our students at community intersections,” Adland said.

Hogeland said he is a Marshalltown Schools product and wanted to give back to the community. District Superintendent Theron Schutte and school board President Bea Niblock also helped coordinate getting the vests to the schools.

“I got ahold of Mr. Schutte and Bea and Dave and throughout it all, we managed to make it work somehow,” Hogeland said. “I’m glad it worked.”

Schutte said the vests will help as the district works with the City of Marshalltown to find recommendations to make intersections and crossings near school grounds safer. Christian was hit near Franklin, but off the school’s property.

“Not only have we worked to ensure street crossing staff equipped in terms of having very visible vests through Lonnie, we purchased new handheld stop signs to supplement or replace what they had been using,” Schutte said. “We’re just really thankful for the support and your willingness to step up and help with this matter, both Lonnie and Dave. Thank you.”

The total value of the vests, which have been given to personnel across the district, was $860.

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Contact Adam Sodders at 641-753-6611

or asodders@timesrepublican.com