In December of last year, we first told you about a Boy Scout who wanted to refurbish 29 wooden visitor benches used by family members at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery.
While volunteering with “Wreaths Across America” at the cemetery in 2017, Christopher Jones, of Newark’s Troop 255, noticed that the benches at the facility were in rough shape. Realizing that the benches needed to be repaired, he decided that he should fix them for his Eagle Scout project. He told his dad that he wanted to give people a nice place to sit while visiting their loved ones.
The Eagle Project is the opportunity for a Boy Scout to demonstrate leadership of others while performing a project for the benefit of his community. This is the culmination of the Scout’s leadership training, and it requires a significant effort on the scouts part. The project must benefit an organization other than the scout organization, and it cannot be performed for an individual or a business or be commercial in nature. Completing an Eagle Project is a requirement in order for Boy Scouts to attain the Eagle Scout rank.
When Christopher approached cemetery officials to discuss the project they told him that they appreciated that someone was stepping up to help them out, said his dad.
To help pay for some of the cost of his project, Christopher set up a GofundMe Page and members of the community donated almost $2,000 for the needed materials.
Once the fundraising was underway and the weather started warming up Christopher and a few volunteers began working on the project.
The wood was cut and completely dried before Christopher and his helpers could paint the benches. To honor the veterans of Delaware and their family members they are worked for perfection, according to Dad.
We are so thankful for the men and women of our military for giving so much. Christopher has had so much support, said Dad. They have received support from the American Legion, the VFW, the Elks, and so many private donations. All the people are so proud of him for thinking about the veterans of Delaware.
Earlier this month, Christopher and his team had completed the painting of the wood and were ready to start replacing the old benches.
Christopher, his dad, and some other volunteers spent the first couple of weekends of October refurbishing most of the old benches. He held off on the last couple of benches so that his sister, who was away at college in New York, could come home and help out on a long weekend.
The group refurbished a total of 29 wooden benches and added three additional cast iron powder coated benches for the cemetery. The plan had been to add only one new bench.
After the repairs were made and the new benches were added over $850 was leftover in the project fund. This afternoon Christopher presented a check to Barbra Cook at the Veteran’s Cemetery for the remaining balance.
Once Christopher finishes up some paperwork and has his review he will have earned the rank of Eagle Scout, according to dad.