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'Kevin Bus 7's' drive to help his community is why he's nominated for the Jefferson Awards

Kevin Walsh volunteers as an ambulance driver along with his head bus driver duties for the Cambridge school district.

CAMBRIDGE, Ill. — Every school morning, Cambridge native Kevin Walsh climbs up in his bus — Number 7 — and rolls out, in all sorts of weather. 

"I showed up yesterday at 2:30 in the morning and started plowing the parking lots and everything out. Just so everyone had a fairly safe way to get into the school," said Walsh. 

"Kevin Bus 7," as he's known for more than 20 years, greets each and every one of his students, and as head bus driver, he knows all the routes — and all the families.

"I just love the kids. I like interacting with them. I have fun with them. I enjoy them. I like helping them. I’ve done a lot of kids’ homework on the way home some days – help them w/their homework, I didn’t do it," Walsh said with a laugh.

Walsh is a grandfather of five, and in true Jefferson Awards fashion, he is "Multiplying Good" in the generations of community members he's driven.

"I’ve got kids that I used to drive 15-20 years ago, that have kids now that I am driving. It makes me feel old, but it’s neat," he adds.

In his downtime, he also volunteers for events around town, like driving elderly community members to see the Christmas lights. Just ask his wife, Leanne.

"He is someone that anyone can go to for anything and he’s there. It doesn’t matter what time of the day or night – he will help everybody in the school system and the community," Leanne said.

Kevin Bus 7 is also an on-call, volunteer driver for Cambridge Fire and Ambulance Service.

Walsh says, "I don’t have a whole lot of medical training. I can do CPR and stuff, but I’m just a go-fast driver."

So what "drives" him? 

According to Walsh, it's simple: "I wanted to help out. They need people. We still need people. And I wanted to help."

Watch more Jefferson Awards nominee stories on News 8's YouTube channel

What are the Jefferson Awards? 

All over the QC area, there are people who aren't just doing good, but "multiplying good."

Every year, we honor them with the Jefferson Awards, a nationwide foundation that celebrates amazing acts of public service. This year will be WQAD's 9th season of being a Jefferson Awards Media Partner, sponsored by the Good Fee Store, Genesis Health System and Tyson Foods. 

For the next eight weeks, News 8 will showcase our very own nominees from across the Quad Cities. To see all of our nominees, past and present, click/tap here.


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