by Terry Rogers
On Saturday, September 8, at the Riverwalk Freedom Festival, MilfordLIVE owner Bryan Shupe presented Fred Duffy and Corporal Theresa Bloodsworth with the 2018 Hometown Heroes Award. The award is presented annually to two people who have selflessly given back to the community. Bloodsworth is an officer with the Milford Police Department and a School Resource Officer. Duffy served 42 years as a local public school educator. He is now a member of the board at the Boys & Girls Club.
“I am humbled, completely surprised and very honored to have been given this award by the community,” Bloodsworth said. “I appreciate all of the public support I have been given by parents, students, staff and community members. I am grateful every day for the opportunity to continue trying to make a difference.”
Bloodworth is originally from New Castle County and has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Wilimington University. She has served as a crisis negotiator, been the Grand Marshal for the NASCAR 200 race in Dover and has had the opportunity to organize and attend many safety-based events. She was part of the First State Force Band for years and still enjoys a “cameo” when they perform at Milford schools.
“I was very surprised and humbled by winning the award,” Duffy said. “It just goes to show that when you keep working and doing positive things, what you are doing gets noticed. I was surprised by the award. I could not figure out why my daughter kept insisting that I go to the Riverwalk, but I always want to support my kids, so I went. When Bryan said that the next recipient was someone he worked with when he was president of the Boys & Girls Club, I thought ‘okay, now it makes sense.’ It was beautiful to be honored in such a manner.”
Duffy has been married to Delema M. Powell for 45 years and they have three daughters, Evelyn, Martina and Tishara. They also have a granddaughter, grandson and a great-granddaughter who is in Kindergarten. He was born in Greentop and grew up in the Milford area, attending Benjamin Banneker Elementary School and Milford High School. After his mother died when he was young, his father moved the family, which included Duffy and his two brothers, to North Street. He says he is blessed to have grown up in Milford and that his father was a pillar of strength.
“I did not know how poor we were when we were growing up,” Duffy said. “What I do remember is that people helped us and it helped me develop a sense of giving to my community. It is important to me to help someone who needs help. I want to be sure everyone gets a fair shake, I don’t care if they are rich or poor, their creed, color or any of that nonsense. I just want everyone treated fairly.” Duffy earned his bachelor’s degree from Delaware State University and his master’s from the University of Delaware.
Duffy taught elementary school and then moved to the high school to teach special education. He accepted the position as assistant principal at Lake Forest High School before serving as principal from 1993 to 1998. He transferred to the district office in 1998 where he stayed until 2001 then returned to serve as principal at the elementary level before retiring in 2004.
“I retired on January 5, 2004 and that day, Dr. Kay Keister contacted me,” Duffy said. “She wanted me to look at a program they were considering for graduate schools. That Friday, I rode up to talk to her and I stayed for ten years.”
Bloodsworth says that working with the children and staff of Milford School District is a rewarding endeavor each day. “Seeing the smiling faces of the children coming in brightens me up every morning,” Bloodsworth said. “The staff is wonderfully supportive and I enjoy helping to give a better sense of safety and security to the school community. Providing some peace of mind by letting schools know we are there for them is incredibly important in these changing times.” Bloodsworth has served as a police officer in Milford for 19 years and has seen evolving needs in the community.
As a school resource officer, Bloodworth is able to reach many more people who may not have taken the opportunity to talk to a police officer about a problem or concern. Her goal is to show that officers are approachable and people should feel content contacting an officer, seeing this as a way to give back to her community. Bloodworth views children as the future and believes the ideas they develop today grow with them into adulthood. Her hope is that she can help keep the image positive and sees that as a way she can contribute to making a stronger community. She works to ascertain the needs of each individual child which can be challenging with unique personalities and home situations. Bloodsworth believes they have a great team assembled in each school to provide insight and guidance on how to help students in varied situations.
Duffy says that he will continue to serve the Milford community as long as he is able. “My motto has always been that I want to do as much as I can, for as many as I can, for as long as I can,” Duffy said. “It is great when people see what you are doing and know that you are doing a good thing.”
Sign up for you free digital subscription of The Weekly Review, delivered directly to your email every Tuesday morning. A quick cover-to-cover read to catch up on the news of the week and experience great stories about our local communities. Sign up for your free email subscription below.