Local 7-year-old says thank you to construction workers along No - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Local 7-year-old says thank you to construction workers along North Main

7-year-old Joel Stratemeyer 7-year-old Joel Stratemeyer

Most kids might consider local police officers or firefighters as their hometown heroes, but one 7-year-old has another group of people in mind.

Typically, orange barrels and bright yellow vests mean headaches for drivers. But to Joel Stratemeyer, it's something to admire. Stratemeyer's family, along with city leaders, arranged for him to bring cookies and water to construction workers working on North Main Street. 

"It's just neat for the construction workers to be a hero for once," Rockford's 12th Ward Alderman John Beck said, "I don't know if they're always looked at as that type of person."

In return, Williams Charles Construction gave Stratemeyer his own safety vest, glasses, hardhat and golden shovel with his name on it. Plus, a quick trip around the job site.

"This is really heartwarming to see a little boy who took this much interest in a construction project at such a young age," Mark Stockman, the director of public works for the city of Rockford said.

"It's not the easiest job to do and they work in the heat and the rain and there's a lot of risk involved in injury so just to have someone appreciate that," Beck said. "I'm sure it means a lot to them." 

Beck hopes Joel's gratitude toward road construction workers carries over to other drivers. Construction is in year two of three on North Main. It's a project that will result in a wider street, new sidewalks, and better lighting. 

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