It is the time of year when we prepare our kids to return back to school. Many of them are coming back from camp with large duffels and smelly laundry. My wife and I have pictures of our kids on the first day of school. From the years where they would pose with a toothless smile, to the years where they held themselves with broader shoulders and wore high school colors, we look at those pictures with fond memories.
It is an exciting time for all of us. Whether it's grade school, high school or college, there's so much to look forward to as we approach the fall. Our harvest festival, which is always a terrific time, is coming up in less than a month.
But with the great excitement and anticipation of the fall, comes a renewed awareness of how careful we must be as we walk, bike and drive through our streets. During the summer we tragically lost the lives of three of our residents to accidents involving motor vehicles. Please be vigilant in watching for buses, children walking to school and bikers in our neighborhoods. To this effort, the Village has an active pedestrian safety campaign with banners, print articles, social media posts and enhanced enforcement. Between August 15 and September 30, the Deerfield Police Department is conducting extra enforcement in an effort to reduce traffic collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists using funds from a State grant. Areas with high pedestrian/bicyclist traffic, such as downtown Deerfield, school zones, and high-crash zones will be targeted by Deerfield officers.
We also must continue to be sensitive and aware of those who may be struggling with mental illness and need help. Whether it be our kids or adults, mental illness and some of the tragedies that follow, continues to be a keen concern that we should all be aware of. If you feel you need help, get it. If you feel another person needs help, encourage them to get it. The Village has a list of mental health and social service resources on its website.
Our Village embraces the true meaning of community, where we support one another and look out for each other. We care deeply about our kids and our elderly. We go to little league games, soccer games and dance recitals. We celebrate together and also grieve for each other. We go to food truck nights, Harvest Fest, and gather at other events, not because we feel obligated to do so but because we, as a community want to. It is our way. It is the Deerfield way. Let’s continue this together as great things lie ahead.