BURLINGTON -- Wisconsin lawmakers have designated the fourth Wednesday in September as "Bullying Awareness Day" -- and a Burlington man is trying to fight bullying with "Buddy Benches" that he creates.
Jim Scherrer works to fight bullying by building benches.
"We have one made here for the Big Foot High School. One here for Williams Bay Schools," Scherrer said.
The benches were made possible thanks to a June fundraiser.
"We raised over $60,000 for this," Scherrer said.
And now, Scherrer has created a total of six benches.
"The first six benches that are out," Scherrer said.
Scherrer is president and CEO of the Scherrer Construction Company which is leading the effort to bring these anti-bullying "Buddy Benches" to schools across the state of Wisconsin.
"If a child needs help -- come out and sit on it. If children wanna be a buddy supporter, they're gonna hang out on the bench -- 'hey, we're gonna support you. We're gonna help you out. If you have any problems, we're gonna be there,'" Scherrer said.
Scherrer says he's had personal and family experience with bullying. In 2014, he determined he could no longer allow his company to work constructing schools without doing something to prevent bullying inside them.
"When the kids come to school each day, they see this, and maybe it gives them a little awareness of, 'hey, you know, I gotta make sure I'm not bullying, and I can help out my friends,'" Scherrer said.
Scherrer aims to have the benches in as many schools as possible, beginning over the next several days.
"The Omro School District is getting this bench actually presented to them on October 1st," Scherrer said.
From there, Scherrer says he hopes to bring benches to schools worldwide.
"The buzz is out there. We feel we're on the right track," Scherrer said.
Scherrer says Buddy Benches cost about $1,600 each -- but schools get assistance with covering costs.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Scherrer Construction, and these Buddy Benches.
CLICK HERE to access Scherrer Construction's Facebook page.