Elected officials, community leaders and parents joined executives from BusPatrol last week to announce $150,000 in community-based sponsorships that will support 50 Little Leagues.
The sponsorships will support Suffolk County’s efforts to raise awareness about school bus safety through physical banners and social media activity. The Little League sponsorships form part of a wider awareness campaign across TV, radio, print, and digital media. The campaign started in the Spring and will conclude after School Bus Safety Week in October.
The money comes from the county’s share of the School Bus Safety Program, which has committed a total of $1 million this year toward school bus safety awareness. Suffolk partnered with BusPatrol in the spring of 2021 to equip nearly 5,000 school buses at 71 school districts with stop-arm enforcement technology, which results in fines for drivers for not stopping when signaled to.
“In anticipation of the upcoming academic year, Suffolk County is steadfast in its commitment to ensure the safety of our children as they head off to school,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said in a written statement. “Thanks to our partnership with BusPatrol, not only are we able to foster a secure environment for our kids while they ride the school bus, but we are also able to support dozens of Little League teams across the county.”
The announcement was made at the Edward F. Kienle Memorial Field in Lindenhurst, where the Lindenhurst National Little League was presented with a check for $2,500. Also on hand was Wally Backman, former second baseman from the 1986 New York Mets World Series champions and current Long Island Ducks manager, along with representatives from the Long Island Ducks.
“This is about protecting these young people standing behind me and others that are out there every single day when school is in session,” Suffolk County Presiding Officer Kevin McCaffrey said in the statement. “We have created awareness with our school bus camera safety program, and we’re going to continue that work. We’re grateful to be able to partner with these little leagues, today with Lindenhurst National Little League, to be able to give them a check for $2,500 for their help raising awareness about school bus safety.”
Karoon Monfared, president and CEO of BusPatrol, emphasized the program’s focus on child safety and driver education.
“BusPatrol is committed to seeding the safety message early with our student athletes,” Monfared said in the statement. “I thank County Executive Bellone and Presiding Officer McCaffrey for standing up for student safety. We’re enormously proud of the investment that we’ve made in Suffolk and look forward to continuing to support the mission and make our roads safer.”