Dan O'Neill has expressed his thanks to three Washington State Patrol troopers in a profound way. He has created a community college scholarship in the names of the troopers who recovered his stolen property.
What a magnanimous and heartfelt gesture.
O'Neill, a local business owner who is very involved in his community and a member of the South Puget Sound Community College Foundation board of directors, announced the scholarship plans recently in honor of Sgt. Mark Arras and Troopers Jason Noahr and Rhonda Zeller.
"These troopers captured the person," O'Neill said of the December 2004 chase on Boston Harbor Road. "What a relief for me and my family. ... They risked their lives for someone they didn't know." Speaking to the law enforcement officers directly, O'Neill said, "The real issue is you guys don't get the thanks you deserve for the risks that you take." He's right.
Creating an annual $1,000 scholarship - which will grow over time - is a terrific way of expressing that thanks. Those three law enforcement professionals must be very proud of what's being done in their name. Let's hope O'Neill's idea catches on with others who want to express their gratification or thanks in a meaningful and creative way.