By HOWARD BALABAN firstname.lastname@example.org
Medina Journal-Register — SHELBY - Last fall Zack Waild decided his Eagle Scout project should be something memorable.
Tuesday morning, he found himself standing in a pavilion that will usher in a number of memories for years to come.
Waild, with the help of family and friends, built a pavilion at the Erie Canal boat launch near Hoffman Road. Through hours of work, including fundraising for materials, the R.I.T.-bound teenager finished the structure.
“This was the hardest project I’ve ever done,” Waild said. He noted that he did not anticipate the simple building to entail so much work. All told, he estimated that he put in 44 hours and those who helped him put in a significant amount, too.
Still, when looking at the finished product, it has Waild’s name on it.
“I like that when we drive by and see people here, I can say, ‘I built that,’” he said, adding that there is most definitely a sense of accomplishment accompanying the project’s completion. So far, he said he has seen people use the pavilion for picnics and to prepare their fishing gear for boating excursions.
The idea for the pavilion, Waild said, came from a similar project done by a fellow scout at Glenwood Lake. “I thought something like that would be good here,” Waild said.
Waild’s parents were on hand Tuesday morning and were bursting with bursting with pride.
“From a dad’s point of view, I told him he should do something that he would always remember, would always see,” said Doug Waild. “He beat the pavement for donations and wrote letters to family and friends to let people know it wasn’t just any old project.” The fundraising lasted from September through the winter, with construction started the Monday before Memorial Day.
Doug added that originally his son planned on a simpler structure. However, after talking with some of the suppliers for the project, he said his son decided to enclose the roof.
“He did that to keep birds and bees and nests like that out of the roof,” Doug said.
Seeing the completed project gave Doug and his wife Brenda a phenomenal sense of pride.
“I’m fighting back tears I’m so proud of him,” Brenda said. “For a teenage boy at this age, to do this? It’s quite an accomplishment.”
During the pavilion’s dedication ceremony, state Sen. George Maziarz called the Erie Canal a major asset, and lauded Waild’s effort in adding to a popular boat launch site.
“This is going to provide for a lot of people,” Maziarz said.
Orleans County Legislators Lynne Johnson and Bill Eick recognized Waild on behalf of the county, saying that his project “promotes great community citizenship. A representative from Congressman Chris Collins’ office also made an appearance.
Shelby Town Supervisor Skip Draper said Waild “did a great job” on what the board agreed was quite an “ambitious project.”
He added afterward, “At a time when sometimes what we hear about younger people is not always positive, this young man made the community a better place.”
Draper praised Waild taking the project from start to finish, from its concept to its planning, to organizing and building it. Some Town of Shelby employees helped Waild lay the groundwork for the project, digging some of the pavilion’s post holes, it was noted.
Draper added, “He took a recreational place, on a New York asset, like the senator said, and he made it better.”