Bewitched at Bonfield

By on November 1, 2017

Betty Loose, the beloved crossing guard at Bonfield Elementary School, gets into character during holidays.

This crossing guard adds character to her job

There was a witch at the intersection of Rome Road and Oak Street on Halloween, but you can be assured that she was a good witch.

A very good witch.

The witch in question is Betty Loose. She has been a crossing guard in front of John R. Bonfield Elementary School for 12 years. Every morning around 7:30 a.m. and every afternoon around 2:30 p.m., Betty Loose is at her appointed post to make sure students get to and from school safely.

“I just love the children and saying hello to everyone. I feel like they are my kids,” says Loose, who at 80 has one daughter, one granddaughter, and three great-grandchildren.

On holidays, like Halloween, Loose likes to dress up for her duties. On Tuesday, she was a witch, complete with a long black dress, black shoes, a fluttery scarf, a lighted pumpkin necklace, and a tall brimmed witch’s hat with feathers and a veil full of tiny spiders.

She also prepares treats for her young charges, nearly 50 of them. The weekend before Halloween, she was busily filling the decorated plastic bags with candy and other goodies.

“It’s a treat for me to do this. I like to see the children happy,” says Loose.

She also likes to see drivers looking happy, as she waves and greets each one with a big hello and a “good morning.” They pretty much all wave back.

Getting kids to school safely and greeting everyone with a warm smile is all in a day’s work for Betty Loose.

Halloween isn’t the only holiday that inspires Loose to dress up. She wears a bunny suit for Easter and hands out Easter basket bags. At Christmas, she is Mrs. Claus with treats. She wears red, white and blue for Veterans Day, and a green hat and green shoes for St. Patrick’s Day.

Whatever she wears, it has to go with her neon green safety vest and big bold red STOP sign.Loose first decided to apply as a crossing guard when she saw an ad in the Lititz Record Express. Her husband had recently passed away and she thought being with children would cheer her up. Retired from Woodstream after 32 years, she was also looking for something to keep busy.

Loose likes to stay active. A veteran, she served in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) back in 1950s, and was stationed in Germany with a medical unit, and then at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

After her interview with current Police Chief Kerry Nye (he was Sgt. Nye at the time), Loose was hired and has been out in front of Bonfield Elementary every morning and afternoon.

“The kids love it. The adults love it. And I love it,” says Loose. “I get to see the children grow up from kindergarten to sixth grade. And they grow up fast.”

Those who pass by have noticed the school crossing guard and her festive outfits.

“She has been at the intersection of the school driveway since my son started kindergarten there, and he is now a sophomore at Penn State. I wave to her every morning on my way to work,” says Jeanne Wise. “I have watched her for years, in every type of weather imaginable, wave and smile to every car that passes by and to every child. She deserves a big thank you from the community.”

Thanks, Betty, and Happy Halloween!

Betty Loose is one of 11 dedicated crossing guards that serve the students of the Warwick School District.

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to the Record Express. She can be reached at lknowles21@gmail.com.

 

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