STEVENS POINT, WI (WSAU) - Three Stevens Point residents have donated enough to cover an annual Wisconsin Dells recognition trip for crossing guards. Reid Rocheleau, Dave Suchon, and Barb Jacobs spent some of last week meeting with Mayor Andrew Halverson, City Comptroller Treasurer John Schlice, Clerk John Moe, and School Superintendent Dr. Atilla Weninger to try and get this trip back for the kids.
Rocheleau says they appear to have the pieces in place so the kids can go. “We tried to get on the Police and Fire Commission and never heard back from them, so it sounds that now Mr. Schlice is involved, he’ll get the police chief to work with the schools and get the cadets picked, and hopefully by the 19th they have this all worked out.”
Suchon says Rocheleau approached him, and he said, “Count me in.” He added, “We came down, gave $500 dollars each, total of $1,500 dollars, so I think the package cost $1,256 dollars to go, so they got about $250 bucks for eating if they want to have something down there at the Dells.”
Jacobs says in the future, they are planning to help organize fundraisers in cooperation with the city to support the cadet program every year. “We can do fundraisers, and everything that we collect will be tax deductible for people. Then it will be run right through the city, and the city will take care of paying all of the bills and whatever. Any money donated will be tax deductible and go right to that organization.”The trip used to be sponsored by the Stevens Point Police Department, but a budget shortfall last year forced the city to back away from that commitment.
Crossing guard cadets from all over the state make this trip. Portage county cadets are sponsored by various police departments, the County Sheriff’s Department, and organizations like the Junior Optimist Club. The Stevens Point cadets would have been the only ones not making the trip.
The cadets were disappointed to hear about the funding cuts after looking forward to the trip. Now, it’s just a matter of quickly making arrangements with the city, the school district, Wisconsin Dells, and the parents before a rapidly approaching deadline April 19th.