Tony Mannia of Valparaiso recently achieved the honor of becoming an Eagle Scout, a process that began when he got involved with scouting in the first grade. He completed his final project at Opportunity Enterprises.
“I chose OE because I knew the clients would benefit greatly from an Eagle Scout project,” said Mannia, who worked with his uncle and scoutmaster to build a pergola for OE clients. “I chose to build a pergola to give the clients a place to enjoy during their work breaks.”
Planning for the project began by drawing the plans for the pergola construction. This was a difficult stage because of the complexity of building such a large structure
“My uncle helped me in the planning stage, and my scoutmaster assisted me in the building phase since both gentlemen work in the construction industry,” shares Mannia.
Construction on the pergola ended up being easier than the planning stage, Mannia said, but “the hardest part was completing the paperwork (required by the Boy Scouts).”
For Mannia, the process of becoming an Eagle Scout has prepared him for life after scouting. Successfully constructing the pergola and helping OE has developed skills that will last a lifetime
“Scouting has taught me valuable lessons in leadership, teamwork, and the importance of serving the community,” Mannia shares.
Eagle Scout projects like this one are extremely valuable to organizations like Opportunity Enterprises because they allow projects to be completed that would otherwise be cost-prohibitive.
Boy Scouts interested in completing an Eagle Scout project with Opportunity Enterprises may contact OE Volunteer and Intern Coordinator Cathy Kuchenmeister at (219) 464-9621, ext. 283 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since 1967, OE has been a non-profit organization which enriches the lives of individuals with disabilities by providing exceptional support and creating meaningful opportunities that allow its consumers to serve as an inspiration to the community. Today, OE serves 1,100 adults and children with disabilities in Porter County and throughout Northwest Indiana. For more information, visit www.oppent.org.
Photo: Tony Mannia (back row third from left) poses with clients from Opportunity Enterprises on the pergola that he designed and built as his final Eagle Scout project