The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

By Katie Teachout
The Journal 

Local boy recognized for safety dedication

 

Last updated 7/24/2020 at 5:43pm

RITZVILLE – A parade made up of school staff and administrators, the Adams County Sheriff's office, Ritzville Police, Adams County Fire Protection District No. 1, Ritzville Fire Department, friends and family drove past Cameron Boness' house Thursday, July 16, to honor Boness for his induction into the 2020 AAA School Safety Patrol Hall of Fame.

Boness was a fifth grader last year when his safety advisor Terry Swartz nominated him for the honor which recognizes the top 10 patrollers each year.

A panel of judges from AAA Washington, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Washington Traffic Safety Commission reviewed nearly 45 nominations from across the state to choose the top patrollers.

According to a press release from AAA, the judges focused on Boness' initiative for improving the AAA School Safety Patrol program each day. Swartz said Boness adeptly trained and mentored new patrollers in safety patrol procedures, ensured patrollers were at crosswalks well in advance of student arrivals, worked double shifts to cover all posts, and created a "Top 5 things about Safety Patrol" handout encouraging 4th graders to sign up for patrol in the fall.

"His booklet that he put together shows me that he likes to be a safety patrol officer, and wants to share with others," Swartz said. "I really think he is qualified to represent us at Ritzville Grade School."

Boness, who will be entering 6th grade in the fall, said he got his inspiration from his brother Brody, who also served as a safety patroller. Boness' buddies Jackson Nichols and Ledger Kelly also served as patrollers.

Boness said he liked getting to talk to people while patrolling.

"It's fun. We get to have hot cocoa on cold mornings," Boness said.

"Our Safety Patrol Advisors spoil our patrollers. They give them parties every quarter," Jenn Boness, Cameron's mom, said.

Jennifer Look with AAA presented Boness with several prizes, including a basketball, a gift certificate for golf equipment, and a coupon for his family to enjoy a celebratory dinner. Look said the national program, celebrating it's 100 year anniversary, has 800 schools participating. They have been recognizing the top 10 patrollers for the past 30 years.

"For most kids, this is their first opportunity in a leadership position in their lives," Look said, adding that many patrollers went on to distinguished careers in public service.

The 2020 AAA Hall of Fame includes patrollers from Shoreline, Spokane, Puyallup, Richland, Renton, Everett and Marysville. Garfield Elementary student Morgan deLeur received the AAA Lifesaver Award after saving the life of a peer, by pulling her out of the path of a car driven through a crosswalk.

The top 10 patrollers are traditionally honored with recognition at a Mariners baseball game. This year, with COVID-19 restrictions shutting down gatherings, the community pulled together to recognize Boness. The parade was led by Swartz and Boness' 5th grade teacher, Morgan Hunt. Mayor Gary Cook presented Boness with recognition from the city.

"It was awesome," Boness said of the celebration.

Author Bio

Katie Teachout, Editor

Katie Teachout is the editor of The Ritzville Adams County Journal. Previously, she worked as a reporter at The Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle, the Oroville Gazette-Tribune, Northern Kittitas County Tribune and the Methow Valley News. She is a graduate of Western Washington University.

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