Friday , May 24 2024

Park Dedication for Local Hero Ed Ray

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<font size="2"><p>A&nbsp;park in Chowchilla will be dedicated to a man, who many consider a hero.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;A city park will be named after Edward Ray.&nbsp; He’s the former bus driver, known around the country, as the&nbsp;man who saved 26 children from their kidnapper.&nbsp; The ceremony will take place in Chowchilla Thursday at 4 in the afternoon.&nbsp; City officials are inviting the community and members of Edward Ray’s family to be present for the dedication.&nbsp; In the coming months money will be raised to add more signs around the park with the park’s new name, a flag pole, and 26 stones to go around the flag pole.&nbsp; Each one of the stones will represent each child that was rescued by Ray.</p><p>A national media frenzy surrounded the small town of Chowchilla in 1976, when a school bus with 26 children ages 5 to 15, and their bus driver was high jacked and went missing.&nbsp; The bus was buried in a quarry for 16-hours. Ray and some of the older children were able to dig themselves out and call for help.&nbsp; All of the children on board the bus were rescued.&nbsp;Almost 40 years later, those children, now adults are forever grateful.</p><font size="2"><span lang="EN"><p>&quot;I’m glad no one was seriously injured physically but that doesn’t mean people weren’t seriously injured emotionally.&nbsp; Had we not gotten out alive there wouldn’t be this conversation&quot;, said survivor Lynda Carrejo Labendeira.</p><p>Ray retired four years after the incident and bought the school bus from the district.&nbsp; He was honored throughout his life for his heroic actions, and passed away in 2012 at the age of 91.</p><p>One of the men who was involved in the high jacking, Richard Schoenfeld, was released form prison in 2012.&nbsp; The two other men involved, James Schoenfeld and Fredrick Woods are still in prison with parole hearings pending.&nbsp; Woods is scheduled to go before the parole board later this year.</p><font size="2"><p><br/></p><p><br/></p></font></span></font><p><br/></p></font></div>

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