Every member of Westside Elementary School’s Safety Patrol came out on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2021, to Stewy’s Skate Park (Pioneer Park) to rejuvenate the site with new colors and rid graffiti that’s been sketched over the past few years. When the kids finished renewing the walls and fences, Stewy’s mom, Amber Cone, and Brother Anthony Abramowicz re-dedicated the park with the unveiling of a new mural, which will be painted by Kimberly Dennis of KD Art Designs.
Stewy’s Skate Park was first dedicated in 2003, following the 2001 death of Stewart Abramowicz, a skateboard enthusiast who was struck by a car while skateboarding on the street. He was with his brother Anthony at the time, who survived the accident.
Anthony described the park as, “a creation to give back.”
The Safety Patrol is composed of 5th-grade students headed by SRO Dustin Mormando. Principal Kristin Stratton said that Mormando was looking to get the Safety Patrol involved in a community project. He reached out to the Hernando County Parks and Recreation Director Chris Linsbeck, who said, “I think I have the perfect idea.”
Linsbeck suggested that kids in the community would have a vested interest in the park. Mormando said, “Well, I have the kids, you have the equipment, so let’s get it done.”
The plan was hatched, and the complete 16 member elite group of Security Patrol kids with their siblings, parents, and friends came to give the park a fresh coat of paint.
The Westside Safety Patrol serves as mentors to their classmates and younger students and helps in the community where they can. The group has a rank system where students can move up to leadership positions and are promoted based on their performance in those roles.
Service doesn’t end when a student moves on. The values follow, and Deputy Mormando told us that one participant on Saturday morning was a former Safety Patrol student who now attends middle school.
At the end of the day, Mormando gathered the group of kids, families, and Hernando county school staff and officials to recognize Lieutenant Kylie as she was promoted to Sergeant.