Scout cements community relationship

| June 18, 2010 | 0 Comments

Sgt. Maj. Terry Anderson
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs 

Conner Dooley shovels dirt and rocks into a wheelbarrow, June 11, to level the ground in preparation for the pouring of a concrete patio at the Tripler Army Medical Center’s Fisher House as part of his Eagle Scout project. (Sabina Dooley | Courtesy Photo)HONOLULU — The Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center functions as a home-away-from-home for family members of service members who are receiving medical care at military and Veterans Affairs medical centers.

So, when Conner Dooley from Hickam Boy Scout Troop 135 heard the Fisher House didn’t have the money to complete a patio project, he didn’t hesitate to chose it as his Eagle Scout project.

“I was going to help improve the Aiea Loop hiking trail but decided to take on the Fisher House project because it would benefit more people,” he said.

“This project took months of planning, coordination and patience,” said Sabina Dooley, Conner’s mother. “It was great to watch Conner’s confidence grow throughout this process.”

Conner began by completing a cost estimate on the project and figured out he could complete the concrete patios for $1,860. He pitched his project to family, friends and local veterans organizations like the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, collecting nearly $2,000, in total.

Conner called a local concrete company, Ameron Hawaii, which performed a site survey at the Fisher House, where the company was so moved by what the Fisher House does for service members and their families that it decided to donate all the concrete needed for the project.  

“That donation alone saved us almost $2,000 and allowed us to spend the money in other ways to help out the Fisher House,” said Conner.

Conner, along with his fellow scouts and volunteers completed all the site preparation work — clearing out rocks in order to level the ground and setting the expansion joints to hold the concrete in place.  

The contractor poured the  concrete with Conner and subject matter experts from the 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, which was on hand to assist with the concrete finishing that included placing coins in the cement. 

Conner and his volunteers completed the project, June 12, Conner’s 15th birthday and two days before the Army’s 235th birthday. Conner said he considered the completed project as a great present for himself, and an early present for Soldiers and their families.

“My hope is that these patios will give the residents of the Fisher House a sense of normalcy, and takes their minds off their problems for a little while,” Conner said.  

“The patios are another stage for the families to enjoy the beautiful weather of Hawaii,” said Theresa Johnson, manager, Tripler Fisher House. “The project was a lot of fun and got the Fisher House residents involved. It also saved us a lot of money.  Conner’s fundraising efforts will allow us to buy barbecues and furniture for the patios.”

Conner also held two food drives, one at the Hickam commissary and another at the Aliamanu Military Reservation Chapel, to fill the food pantry at the Fisher House. 

“This project placed Conner in a leadership position and taught him lessons about planning, coordinating and managing his fellow Scouts and a large group of volunteers,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Dooley, 728th Military Police Battalion, 8th MP Bde., 8th TSC, and Conner’s father. “We figured that Conner’s efforts saved the Fisher House around $9,000. When the project was completed, it went about as close to the plan as possible.”

“I learned a lot about leadership and that nothing ever goes according to plan,” Conner said. “These are skills I can use in the future.”

To volunteer at Tripler Army Medical Center’s Fisher House, call 433-1291.

Category: Community

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