April 2021: Anthony "Tony" Piehl of Brainerd, age 14, an 8th grader in Boy Scout Troop 43, took on a project to repair the speaker platform in Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd. This project will help Tony become and Eagle Scout. The platform has been there since 1969. It needed repairs and to be brought up to current safety standards. The platform is jointly owned by the Brainerd VFW and the Brainerd American Legion. It is normally used for ceremonies on Memorial Day, although that has been curtailed during covid.
April 17, 2021: Tony and his volunteer crew showed up at the speaker platform in Evergreen Cemetery to survey the project. The railing system was in need of replacement and updating to current safety standards. Measurements were taken and ideas discussed.
April 21, 2021: Then there was a meeting at the Brainerd VFW. (l-r) Mark Persons, Nick Krebsbach, Dave Meyer, DJ Collins, Tony, Tony's parents Violeta and Joe Piehl.
Mark Persons was the representative of the Brainerd VFW for the project. Nicholas "Nick" Krebsbach was a Marine Combat Engineer in Afghanistan and two tours in Iraq. He is now a building contractor helping Tony with making decisions on the project. Dave Meyer is Senior Vice Commander of the Brainerd VFW. DJ Collins is the Boy Scout Troop 43 leader.
June 26, 2021: Tony and Nick headed to Home Depot and discussed options on materials along with the difficulties of doing the construction work.
Then they ran into Ryan Malotky, Department Supervisor at Home Depot. That ultimately resulted in Home Depot donating $1500 in materials for the project. The remaining amount will need to be paid by the Brainerd VFW and the Brainerd American Legion. The Home Depot is well known for helping with community projects. Kudos to them!
November 13, 2021: Tony, Nick and crew picked up materials from Home Depot.
December 4, 2021: Work on the speaker platform started with cutting off the original handrails. Violeta brought lunch. They even cleaned a brass plaque.
End of the day, but not finished yet. Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of this story.
December 11, 2021: Some of the crew showed up on an 18 degree day to do additional work on the speaker platform. That included posts to hold the center of the platform up. Painting will be done in the spring.