NORWOOD, N.J. — Norwood crossing guards know they’re loved, thanks to a group of local parents.
For the fifth consecutive year, the Korean Parents Support Committee – an arm of the Norwood PTO – hosted an appreciation breakfast Thursday for all the guards in the district as well as support staff.
The event at Norwood Public School on Summit Street drew two dozen honorees.
They feasted on pancakes, eggs, home fries, Spanish rice, grilled chicken, salad, bagels, sandwiches, fruit, cookies, and more.
At one table, Paul Iulo of Northvale and Paul Wiegartner of Norwood, chatted over eggs, bacon, and sausage.
“So a little kid comes up to me and gives me candy canes and Nestlé chocolates,” Wiegartner said. “The card says, ‘To the Blanch Avenue Guy, From Vinny.’ Isn’t that great?”
“I got one, too,” said Iulo, who retired from commercial construction.
“This is a very rewarding job,” he added. “They treat us really nice. They take care of people in Norwood.”
Another crossing guard, Mike Cheringal of Norwood, known to the kids as “Mr. Mike,” left his meal to congratulate Jenny Hong, chair of the Korean Parents Support Committee, and her army of cooks and servers.
“The broccoli soup – it’s delicious!” he said.
Hong, of Norwood, is originally from South Korea, as is the rest of her committee, which helps new Korean families in the district assimilate to American life.
She publicly thanked the guards for all they do while Ji Kim, also of Norwood, handed out presents and cards.
“Eight years ago when my daughter started to go to school, I didn’t understand that American culture had crossing guards,” Hong said.
“We always see them with big smiles and we see how they interact with our kids,” she added. “It touches us so much. We are so grateful for what they do.”