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Sam Penrod, Deseret News
Karen Caldwell, aka The Grinch, helps students cross Layton Parkway in Layton, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2018.

LAYTON — The Grinch may not be the most likable character, but for kids crossing Layton Parkway, the Grinch is a lifesaver.

For the last year, Karen Caldwell has been making sure students cross the road safely and have fun at the same time.

"Every season or holiday she will dress up, either as the Grinch or Mrs. Claus or a reindeer. She has been a turkey, she has been the Easter bunny," said Ericka Madsen, a parent.

Caldwell lives in this neighborhood and considers the kids she helps to cross the road as her own. "Nobody wants to hit the Grinch, so people do slow down when I wear my costume," she said with a chuckle.

Caldwell has also used her charm to make the neighborhood safer for these kids.

In recent years, the traffic on Layton Parkway has grown exponentially and became a big fear for parents, so Caldwell and other neighbors petitioned the city to put in a crosswalk here.

"They came out and did a traffic study and found that it was definitely needed," she said.

So for the past year, parents say that between having a crosswalk and trusting the crossing guard, they have a lot of peace of mind.

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"I don't have to worry about my kids crossing this dangerous street with Karen there. She makes sure everyone gets where they need to be and does it with a smile and a lot of cheer with her costumes," said Kristin Wynder, another parent whose children have to cross the street.

And at the end of yet another school day, "Kids and drivers have behaved, it's awesome, a lot of fun," Cardwell said.

She said she can go home happy knowing all of the students have made it safely across the busy street.