Travel game sharpened eyes; he saved baby on busy street

A game called "A Dollar for the First Deer" not only taught a young Church member to spot hidden deer, but also helped him save a life.

Shane Legendre, 15, dodged traffic on a busy road in Holly to rescue Joshua Malone, 2, who had wandered into the road from the other side.For his action, Shane – a teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood in the Fenton (Mich.) Ward, Grand Blanc Michigan Stake, and member of the Boy Scouts Order of the Arrow – received the National Certificate of Merit from the Boy Scouts of America.

The certificate was given to Shane Oct. 22 at stake conference. He was among the first nationwide to receive the award, which was adopted by Boy Scouts of America in September.

His father, Tim, said the "Dollar for the First Deer" game was one the family played while traveling together. He would pay a dollar to the first person who sighted a deer.

"We have played this game since the children were real little," he said. "At 60 miles per hour, they could sight a deer in the woods that would take a lot of people binoculars to see while they were standing still."

Shane explained how the rescue occurred:

"I was working in the backyard when my mom started yelling for me. When I went to see what she wanted, she screamed, `There's a baby in the road!' She was trying to run out there herself (100 feet to reach the child), but she can't run because of knee problems.

"I looked out toward the road, but I couldn't see anything because the baby was camouflaged against the trees behind him. There were a lot of cars going by and he was on the other side of the road. But I started running anyway, and because of the practice I had spotting deer while we were traveling, I was able to pick him out and run toward him. The game helped sharpen my senses."

Shane said he remembers cars zooming past him on both sides once he was in the road, but he was so focused on reaching the boy that he did not think of his own danger.

Joshua's mother, Alaina Garner, said she was babysitting three other children that day. "The children left the front door open," she said. "I was doing dishes. One minute Joshua was right there in the house with my older sister, then the next thing I knew, he was in Shane's arms on the front porch. It happened so fast."

The National Certificate of Merit was presented at stake conference because the stake presidency felt it was an excellent example of the conference theme: "You can take it with you."

"We are trying to emphasize that youth do service for others," said Carl Pangerl, second counselor in the stake presidency. "Shane, of course, did more than that. He jeopardized his own life in trying to help someone. His act is an outstanding achievement, and he is a good example to our young people."