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updated: 8/23/2014 9:33 PM

Gazebo fire leads to Arlington Heights Eagle Scout project

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  • Margaret and Mario DiLullo, Eagle Scout David Mercker and his parents, Kristen and Andrew, as David receives the 2014 DiLullo Scholarship check for $500.

      Margaret and Mario DiLullo, Eagle Scout David Mercker and his parents, Kristen and Andrew, as David receives the 2014 DiLullo Scholarship check for $500.
    Courtesy of Carl Laub

  • Troop 32 scouts and leaders carry in new benches and assemble rails for the Lake Arlington gazebo.

      Troop 32 scouts and leaders carry in new benches and assemble rails for the Lake Arlington gazebo.
    Courtesy of Andrew Mercker

  • The Troop 32 "Assembly Team" after Gazebo completion.

      The Troop 32 "Assembly Team" after Gazebo completion.
    Courtesy of Andrew Mercker

 
Submitted by Northwest Suburban Council, Boy Scouts of America

Troop 32 Eagle Scout David Mercker was honored on Thursday, Aug. 4, with the receipt of the 2014 Joseph DiLullo Scholarship during a Northwest Suburban Council ceremony in Mount Prospect.

Margaret DiLullo added that Mercker's written explanation of "What it means to be an Eagle Scout" defined clearly his sense of "Scout Spirit."

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"His troop leadership positions, his community service project and aid to younger scouts are just a few of his qualifications that set him apart," she said.

In 2011, Mercker met with Arlington Heights Park District management to determine a service project worthy of the Eagle rank requirements. The choice was the rehabilitation of a fire-damaged gazebo at the northeast side of Lake Arlington and to supply new benches.

During the previous winter, a homeless man built a fire in the gazebo. The fire spread and destroyed the surrounding wood railings.

Mercker accepted the challenge to manage the project: computer designing a new railing system, cataloging the pieces, soliciting material donations from Home Depot, Heller Lumber Co. and Nutoys, a bench manufacturer, and supervising the assembly and installation of the railings and benches.

The project was completed successfully with the help of Chris Czajka, supervisor of parks for the Arlington Heights Park District, and 20 Troop 32 scouts and leaders over four weekends. The entire project required 134 hours of volunteer time and 72 hours by Mercker to complete the job.

Today, the gazebo serves as a shelter and rest stop for visiting hikers and bikers as they overlook Lake Arlington.

Mercker, a former Cub Scout in Pack 266 sponsored by St. James Parish of Arlington Heights, crossed over to Troop 32 sponsored by First Presbyterian Church of Arlington Heights to become a Boy Scout. He is now attending the prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology Aerospace Engineering program.

The DiLullo scholarship is awarded annually to an Eagle Scout who has outstanding grades, a superior service project and who has been accepted as a freshman at a four-year college or university.

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