Area Legionnaires (from left): Joanne Ellsworth, Joe Slattery and Lou Russo (right) surround Chester Eagle Scout Jacob Hill (center) April 12 beside the sign, flagpole setting and landscaping Hill developed for Legion Post 964 as an Eagle Scout project.
CHESTERTOWN — Local Legionnaires gathered this week to thank a local Eagle Scout for spearheading a project that’s now providing the Legion headquarters in Chestertown with a new sign, flagpole and extensive landscaping.
Jacob Hill, 16, a sophomore at North Warren High School, gathered monetary donations as well as labor and materials for a project that will for many years serve as a landmark in town, Legion Post 964 members said April 12.
Legion Post 964 Commander Joanne Ellsworth said Jacob worked for months coordinating the project to replace a dilapidated sign. The effort included designing and constructing a new one with marble-topped granite pillars, plus moving a flagpole and installing lighting for flag illumination.
The project also involved removing a tree, developing a new sod lawn and creating a new post parking lot — an idea of Hill's, Ellsworth said. The project included re-grading the front lawn to eliminate the depressions that would seasonally turn into mud-holes. Now, the lawn is a luxurious carpet of grass.
“This project went far beyond beautification,” Ellsworth said, noting that Legion Post 964 shares the headquarters with local V.F.W. Post 5513. “This makes all area veterans proud to say, 'This is our building.'”
Hill said he tackled the two-year project, which has helped him earn Eagle Scout status, because of his respect for those who've served the nation.
“I chose this project because I wanted to give back to the soldiers who protected everyone's liberty,” he said.
In the project, which ended up with a $10,000 budget, he was aided by a considerable number of upounty businesses and individuals as well as fellow Boy Scouts in Troop 30.
The work was substantially complete this last November — by Veterans' Day.
Hill earned his Eagle Scout rank in February, and he'll be formally recognized for the honor in a ceremony set for June 9.
Deferring praise to others, Jacob said community members deserved credit for their generous contributions and willingness to get involved.
Businesses contributing to the project included: T.C. Murphy Lumber, McCluskey's Hardware, Curtis Lumber, Champlain Stone, Buckman's Family Fuel, Peckham Materials, Panther Mountain Fitness, Crossroads Country Store, Najer Realty, Main St. Ice Cream Parlor, Saratoga Sod Farm, E-Z Marina & Storage, Klassic Stone, Lashway Unlimited, and TEC Protective Coverings.
In addition to Jacob's fellow scouts, involved in the project were: Andrea Perry, Jason Monroe, Carol and Fred Monroe, John and Pam Ellsworth, Kevin and Heidi Feldt, Bill and Ann Galvin, Penny Redmond, Bella Boardway, Bonnie DuRoss, Howard Meade, Richard and Becky Otruba, Roger Bolton, Bill MacGlashlan, Eddie Thompson, Brad Hayes, Martin Cooper, Wayne Hayes, David Knickerbocker, Dave Bolton, Paul Breuer, Jim Speenburg, Joe Klewicki, Bob Walp, and Chris Stiles.
Thanks also go to Jacob's parents Paul and Rebecca Hill, his grandparents Tom and Karen DuRose, and brother Ryan Hill, the Legionnaires said.
Jacob Hill said he was proud of his work and he was particularly impressed that he’s seen drivers pull over in the evening and take a close look at the sign and flagpole.
”I like that it’s right in town, and people will be appreciating the work for decades,” he said.