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Sunnyside High senior completes Eagle Scout project

Sunnyside High School senior Adam Cleghorn could very well be described as a blessing in a Boy Scout uniform. At least that's what the Lower Valley Crisis and Support Center is likely thinking with the completion of his Eagle Scout project: a newly constructed gazebo that graces the back yard at the facility.

Cleghorn says he's been a scout for about as long as he can remember. Or, as he puts it, "A very long time."

Cleghorn said his church, the Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ, is a big supporter of the scout program because it exemplifies what the church does: service to others.

"It's not just about us, it's about serving others," says Cleghorn.

When it came time to work towards earning his Eagle Scout badge, Cleghorn said he first approached then-city manager Bob Stockwell, who suggested he drive around town to identify a need.

Cleghorn says he tried that a couple times, but had difficulty figuring out who to help.

It's then that he approached his scout leader for troop 635, Gary Johnson. Johnson told Cleghorn that his son, Kaden, was working on a playground area at the crisis center.

Cleghorn's next step was to see if Lower Valley Crisis and Support's Executive Director Julia Hart had any ideas.

The end result is a newly constructed gazebo and a few surprises, too.

Not only did Cleghorn, with the support of friends and family and his senior project mentor, construct the gazebo, he created a little coffee table and refurbished a picnic table, painting all three to match.

Hart intimated her delight at the added perks of the picnic table and coffee table. "We are just thrilled with it. We couldn't be happier with the way it turned out," says Hart.

Cleghorn, the son of Brent and Debbie Cleghorn of Sunnyside, has taken construction classes at the high school since he was a freshman. "I build more sheds than gazebos," he says. But, he adds, "I knew basically what I was doing. It came out nice, so I guess I was doing something right."

Cleghorn tried initially to get materials donated for the project. When that didn't work, he hit the streets, asking for monetary donations. Bruce Ricks, Mike Farmer, Gary Johnson, his father, Pam Durfey, Dr. Richard Roach, Dr. Gary Martin and Home Depot were happy to oblige to the combined tune of about $1,000.

When it came time to do the work, which took about two weeks, Cleghorn said his friends Oscar Torres, Sam Comstock and fellow scouts Kevin Wilson and Hank Trammel rolled up their shirtsleeves to pitch in, as did his family.

All told, just over 256 hours were put into the combined Eagle Scout/senior project.

Now all that's left to complete at Lower Valley Crisis and Support Center is Johnson's playground, for which he needs between 20 and 25 railroad ties to be donated.

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