Scout’s honor brings upgrades to city library

Alex Cooley presents Jason Hammond, director, and Michele Quatroche a check for a $250 donation to the Dunkirk Library. Also pictured are donated board games for the multi-use room at the library.

Special to the OBSERVER

Earlier this month, Alex Cooley earned his Eagle Scout rank from Troop 267 at the Fredonia American Legion Post 59 in Fredonia.

The master of ceremonies for the Eagle Scout Court of Honor was Cynthia Smith, Committee Chairman of Troop 267. Senior Patrol Leader TJ Ackley led the opening and closing of the ceremony. The Eagle candle-lighting ceremony was read by Christopher Annear, while Calder Annear lit the red, white and blue candles.

The Trail of the Eagle was read by Troop 267 Scouts, including Leneith Velez-Olmo, Cooper Stenger, Ryan Proffitt, Zack Walnicki, Cortland Lehnen, Riley Smith Mallon and Hunter Noody.

The Honor Guard Escort for the ceremony was Brandon Kawski and Justin Powell while the Eagle Charge was read by Alex’s brother, Jordan Cooley. Alex awarded his Uncle, Rich Cooley, with the mentor pin.

Alex joined Boy Scouts in 2012 as a Tiger cub with Bill Brown as his first Cubmaster in Pack 267. While Alex was a Boy Scout, Scoutmaster Chris Eichmann led the Troop until current Scoutmaster Thomas Annear took over in 2017.

He attended summer camp at Camp Merz and traveled to the international campout in Woodstock, Canada twice. Most recently Alex went on the Gettysburg, Pa., camping trip and traveled to Camp Massaweppi, in the Adirondacks with the troop.

Special guests at the ceremony included Jacqueline Phelps, representing U.S. Rep. Tom Reed’s office, state Sen. George Borrello, Past Alleghany Highlands District Committee chairman Jeff Cunningham, Mr. Dudzik from the Sons of the American Legion Post 59, the Chautauqua County American Legion adjutant, Ron Bouquin from Legion Post 59, and district Chaplain Walt Sedlmayer.

A reception was held after the ceremony with pizza from Alex’s favorite place, and homemade cupcakes made by his grandmother, Paula Cooley, were served. Decorations and setup were provided by Heidi and Bryan Powell, along with Jim Stenger.

Alex’s Eagle Scout project, involved upgrading the Dunkirk Public Library’s multi-use room by repairing damage in the room, repainting the walls and bookshelves and donating board games for teenagers. The room is also used for book club meetings, which Alex’s grandmother, Helen Burlett, regularly attends in the same room. They worked with the Dunkirk Library staff, Michele Quatroche and Jason Hammond, director.

To fund the project, a bake sale was held at the Kosciuszko Polish Club, a Go Fund Me website page was set up and a candy bar sale was run at the Chautauqua County Home. These efforts raised more than $850.

The money earned was used to purchase paint, plaster, mortar, sandpaper and 20 board games. Troop leaders and scouts, family and friends worked diligently over the summer of 2019 completing the work in the room, so it would be finished before the end of summer. Special thanks to Anthony Dolce, whose experience and advice was key in completing the repairs to the mortar and walls. The company Wizards of the Coast donated a “Welcome to Magic the Gathering” kit, including 20 welcome decks to the project as well. About $250 remained after completion of repairs, which was donated to the library.

Alex would like to thank his family, friends, scouts, teachers, leaders and members of the community who supported and encouraged him throughout his Eagle Scout project and scouting journey.

Alex is the son of Roger and Amanda Cooley. He is a freshman at Miami Palmetto Senior High in Pinecrest, Fla. He is the grandson of Roger and Paula Cooley and Helen and the late James Burlett.