Arlington Heights high school freshman Ryan Pearson has received his Eagle Scout rank, after having completed his Eagle Scout Project at the local Lutheran Home.
Ryan chose to do his project there because his grandmother, Catherine Pearson, lived there for several years.
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Ryan would spend time with his grandmother at the Lutheran Home, and remembers taking her for walks around the lake and grounds, as well as utilizing the gazebo. His memories there helped him decide to improve the gazebo for his Eagle Scout Project.
"I decided on this as my project because I always remembered the times I had with my grandmother there and wanted to give something back after so much was done for her," Ryan says.
Ryan, along with several other Scouts, adults and friends worked together to do the project physical work, which included cleaning up and repainting the gazebo, as well as building new benches and purchasing end tables for the interior of the gazebo.
Other than the hard-to-reach spots the volunteers had to paint, the hardest part was building the benches that went inside the gazebo. Its octagonal shape necessitated a special design so the benches would fit together properly.
His fundraising efforts raised almost $1,500 to pay for the project. Many families supported his fundraiser at the Arlington Heights Noodles Restaurant, and he received generous donations from many individuals, the Rotary Club of Arlington Heights, Arlington Security Company, Picket Fence Realty, and Heller Lumber.
Fourteen-year-old Ryan has earned 42 merit badges so far, and plans to earn many more and stay active in his Troop 132.
About the completion of the renovated gazebo, Ryan says, "The most exciting part of the project was seeing it completed and knowing how many people will enjoy using it." Just as he and his grandmother did.