On Thursday, March 1, 2012 the Punta Gorda Police Department’s “Do the Right Thing” program will honor five children for their good deeds. Awards will be presented to the following students at a ceremony in the City of Punta Gorda Council Chambers at 3:00 p.m.:

Jace Baker, a 6th grade student at Punta Gorda Middle School. Jace is the son of Deana Baker. Jace was nominated for the Do The Right Thing award because he stopped some other students from bullying a fellow student as she walked home from school.

Our next young nominee comes from the East Elementary School where he is in the fourth grade. His name is Xavier Finnerty and he is the son of Tammy and Peter Finnerty. Xavier was nominated for a life saving action he took. Xavier was working at the shop with his father and he leaned on a diesel engine hoist. The engine hoist weighs about 1,000lbs. When he leaned on the hoist the arm of the hoist swung around and was going to hit his dad who was leaning over fixing something under the hood of the truck. Xavier then grabed the hoist pulling it over on himself. The hoist fell on him and luckily only broke his arm. He was transported to the hospital by ambulance and when I got to the hospital he said that its ok his arm is broken because he saved his dad’s life.

Our third nominee is a sixth grade student at Port Charlotte Middle School. His name is Jamario Weatherhead. Jamario is the son of Heather McElroy and Siamond Weatherhead. Jamario was nominated by his teacher for his desire to make the school a safe and comfortable place for everyone. The teacher had this to say about Jamario. Jamario has demonstrated on many occasions that he does not tolerate bullies. Without any act of violence, I have seen Jamario stand up for several students in my class against kids who act like bullies on some occasions. He removes himself from the problem if the bullying is directed towards him.

Our next you man is a student at Neil Armstrong Elementary School by the name of Nicolas Asselin. Nicholas is in the 5th grade and is the son of Gina Leterio and Rick Calori. Not long ago, Nick’s Grandma was having a diabetic issue in the parent pickup line at Neil Armstrong Elementary School. As soon as Nick got in the car and was aware of the situation immediately grabbed his grandma’s phone and started calling his mother and grandfather. Nick handled himself very well in this situation and took action without hesitation. Many youngsters in Nick’s situation would have panicked and not known what to do. Nick’s cool manner of handling the situation made it a better day for every one.

William Lockhart is final recipient. William is in the 10th grade at Port Charlotte High School and is the son of Wayne and Tammy Lockhart. Billy is being recognized for his honesty. Billy turned in a necklace worth nearly $200 which he found in Physical Education class. Billy found this necklace on the floor and it would have been very easy for him to just put it in his pocket and walk away. Knowing that this was not the right thing to do, Billy gave the found property to an adult so that it could get back to the rightful owner. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this trait was something everyone had, and not just those we are able to recognize?

The purpose of the “Do the Right Thing” program is to reinforce positive actions among local youth. It is also designed to enhance relationships between local law enforcement members and school-aged children. The media is encouraged to attend this rewarding event.