THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
The full Assembly was present when Gail Bantes of Peshtigo was honored as a Wisconsin Hometown Hero on Wednesday, Jan.15 at a ceremony at the Capitol in Madison. She received the honors for pushing two children to safety before she was struck by a vehicle. Bantes was presented with a commemorative trophy and plaque. Top Photo from left to right; Tim Bantes, who is also the fire chief in Grand Chute; Tim's wife, Rhonda, Sherry Pogrant, Joel Bantes, Gail Bantes, Rep. John Nygren, Dale Pogrant, Zoe Bantes and Elizabeth Bantes. Bottom Photo: Gail Bantes is pictured as she delivers her speech to the Wisconsin Assembly.
Gail Bantes Recognized As Wisconsin Hometown Hero
Issue Date: January 30, 2020
Gail Bantes of Peshtigo was honored by the Wisconsin State Assembly as a Hometown Hero in a ceremony at the capitol in Madison on Wednesday, Jan. 15. Bantes was nominated for the award by State Representative, John Nygren for pushing two girls to safety before being struck by a SUV while working as a crossing guard for the city of Peshtigo.
Nygren stated, "It was my distinct privilege to recognize and present Gail Bantes with a Hometown Hero Award from the Wisconsin State Assembly. 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. 15th, 2019, Gail was hit by a vehicle while assisting two children crossing the street. With disregard for her own well-being, Gail successfully moved the children out of the path of the vehicle before being struck by the car herself. This act of sacrifice is a testament to her devotion to her job and to the safety of children in her community.
For her dedication and bravery, Gail has been named America's Favorite Crossing Guard.
"Gail epitomizes what it means to be a hometown hero,'' said Rep. Nygren. "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."
After receiving the award Bantes spoke in the Assembly chambers and said, "I am thankful for all the people in Peshtigo, for their help and words of encouragement during my recuperation. I also want to thank Superintendent Patrick Rau and the students in the Peshtigo School system for their cards and kind words. I lastly wish to thank my family for all their help, I am truly blessed to have a great family and to be a part of such a wonderful community. I love you all."
Nygren presented Bantes with a plaque and commemorative trophy during the ceremony.