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July 9, 2013

Boy Scout gives back to beloved childhood institution

By Sara Kandel
C & G Staff Writer

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Boy Scout gives back to beloved childhood institution
Andrew Fisette, 17, of Eastpointe, plans his Eagle Scout project in the Eastpointe Memorial Library courtyard.

EASTPOINTE — It didn’t take 17-year-old Andrew Fisette long to decide where he wanted to do his Eagle Scout project. From the start, he knew he wanted to give back to one of his favorite childhood places — the Eastpointe Memorial Library.

“I used to come here for the reading clubs here, and I used to have so much fun at the clubs,” Fisette said. “I decided for my project to give back to the library for what they gave me when I was little.”

Fisette is focusing on the library’s courtyard for his project. He’s already started prepping for the project by pulling weeds and removing moss from the sidewalk, but the real project will begin when he manages a team of about a dozen Boy Scouts as they clean the flowerbeds, lay new mulch, build hanging flowerbeds for the fence and plant colorful annuals.

“I want to put flowerpots around just to beautify the patio around here,” Fisette said. “In the flowerpots, on the bottom, I am going to have pebbles for the drainage and topsoil on top of the pebbles. Putting the pebbles below the topsoil helps keep the flowers moist and helps with the drainage.”

Fisette must collect all the funds for the project himself, purchase the supplies needed and manage the volunteers and work. Raising the funds has been one of the most difficult, yet rewarding, aspects of the project.

“He’s very shy — very shy,” said his mom, Denise Fisette. “This has really helped him along — doing the public speaking — and it has helped with his confidence.”

Andrew Fisette first had to get approval from the library. His next step was to send request letters to local businesses. Then, he was invited to present in front of the Eastpointe Community Networking Chest Forum and the Eastpointe Rotary Club.

The ECNCF has since donated to his cause. The Rotary Club told him they’d be in touch following his June 2 presentation to them.

Since he started working on the project earlier this summer, Denise Fisette has seen growth in her teen son.

“When he first came to talk to the library, he was just so nervous, but they were so grateful and so happy because they have never had an Eagle project done for them,” Denise Fisette said. “It’s a win-win situation because he loves the library, he loves reading, and they are really grateful and really happy.”

Eastpointe Memorial Library Assistant Director Sue Todd certainly is happy about the project.

“I was happy to see Andrew because I hadn’t seen him in a few years, and when he proposed his Eagle Scout project, I think I said,  ‘Yeah’ right away,” Todd said. “Before they did their cleaning last week, there was just weeds all over the place.

“It just looks fantastic already and it’s going to look so much better and we are so excited to have it done. It gives patrons an area to relax and read, and provides a better setting for some of the outdoor children’s programs.”

Andrew Fisette is hoping to complete the project by the end of summer, but that all depends on funding. He needs to raise a minimum of $500 to complete the project.

So far, he’s raised about $332 — receiving $200 from the Eastpointe Community Networking Chest Forum, $40 from family and friends, a $40 gift certificate from DeRonne Hardware, a $25 gift certificate from Home Depot, $16 in returnable bottles from Sugarbush Tavern, $11 in returnable bottles from Coyote Station and four trays of annual flowers from First State Bank.

He needs to make a minimum of $200 more before work on the project can even start, but he’s hoping to raise even more than that; in addition to sprucing up the courtyard, Andrew Fisette wants to contribute to getting the courtyard fountain fixed, upgrade from plastic flowerpots to ceramic ones, and if there is some money left over, he may even present the remaining money from the project to the Friends of the Eastpointe Memorial Library.

He’s also collecting supplies. He needs hanging flowerbeds, flowerpots, mulch, topsoil, pea pebbles, paintbrushes and lawn bags. As part of the project, Andrew Fisette must provide lunch for the Boy Scout volunteers working with him, and he’s hoping a local business will step forward to donate it so that 100 percent of the funds he raises can directly benefit the library.

Anyone interested in donating money, supplies or lunch to the project can contact Denise Fisette between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. at (586) 776-7205 or by emailing aerohead19@hotmail.com. Returnable bottles can be dropped off to the Eastpointe Memorial Library, located at 15875 Oak in Eastpointe.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Sara Kandel at skandel@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1030.