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Chester Eagle Scout builds local landmark for veterans

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.

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. Photo by Thom Randall.

— 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.

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