Students surprise beloved crossing guard with end of school year gift

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- With the school year wrapping up for many students this week, a group of Lexington elementary students wanted to show their appreciation to one of their favorite school employees.
When a group of 4th and 5th graders at Mary Todd Elementary School learned their favorite crossing guard, 82-year-old “Mr. Jimmy” was taking time away from his sick wife to help them cross the road safely everyday, they decided to surprise him with a very special gift.
James “Mr. Jimmy” Thompson has been helping kids safely cross the street here at Mary Todd Elementary for the past four years.
“Get up at 6 o’clock in the morning and get over here. 82 years old but it gives me something new to do and occupies my mind and it keeps me going. I like it because I meet the new kids,” said Thompson.
And the kids like him too, so when a group of them found out Mr. Jimmy’s wife was sick, they wanted to help out.
“He stays here with us to make sure we’re safe instead of his wife and then he comes home and sees her. That’s why we wanted to kind of make sure he was helped before we left off for school,” said Kynedi Birdsong, a student at Mary Todd Elementary School.
The students raised more than $100 to give to Mr. Jimmy so he and his wife could go to dinner at their favorite restaurant O’Charley’s and surprised him with the gift after school on Thursday.
“I didn’t have any idea and didn’t nobody give me no clues that it was going down like this,” said Thompson.
But the surprise didn’t stop there, management at the local O’Charley’s location heard about what the students were up too and decided to give Mr. Jimmy a gift card of their own.
“After seeing just the outpouring of all these kids and how much they love him and how much he means to them, I mean absolutely we want to be a part a part of something like that,” said Sean Gibboney, general manager of O’Charley’s.
The local Lowes home improvement store also gifted Mr. Jimmy with a new lawn mower and grill.
All this kindness, Mr. Jimmy says, makes him feel like a movie star.
“Well it makes me feel great and I guess my next move will probably be Hollywood,” said Thompson.
Now it might take him a little while to get out to Hollywood because Mr. Jimmy says that his real hope is to be back at Mary Todd Elementary next year helping those same students cross the street everyday.

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