MADISON, Wis. — A crossing guard from Peshtigo has received a prestigious award from Wisconsin lawmakers.

State Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, released a statement concerning the crossing guard. “Today, it was my distinct privilege to recognize and present Gail Bantes with a Hometown Hero Award

from the Wisconsin State Assembly,” Nygren said in a statement last week. “Gail has served her community for decades, first as a bus driver for the Peshtigo School District for 43 years and, more recently, as one of two crossing guards employed by the City of Peshtigo.”

On the morning of Feb. 15, 2019, Bantes was hit by a vehicle while assisting two children crossing the street. With disregard for her own well-being, she successfully moved the children out of the path of

the vehicle before being struck by the car. This act of sacrifice is a testament to her devotion to her job and to the safety of children in her community, Nygren said.

For her dedication and bravery, Bantes has been named a finalist in a nationwide contest for America’s Favorite Crossing Guard. She has received more than 8,000 votes, 2,000 more than any other contestant. A final decision on the winner will be made by a board of judges.

“Gail epitomizes what it means to be a hometown hero,’’ Nygren said. “I am proud to represent such an inspiring and selfless individual and I hope her heroic actions serve as an example of how we, as citizens, should give of ourselves each day to make our communities safer places to live.”