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O’Fallon Eagle Scout Awarded Service Project Of The Year In Central Region

June 08, 2018

When Tommy Fulford was asked to speak about community service during the Greater St. Louis Area Council Eagle Scout Recognition Dinner on June 5, the 16-year-old had no idea council president Mark Burkhart was secretly waiting backstage with an award. After his speech, Tommy was presented with the Glenn A. and Melinda W. Adams National Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year Award for the Central Region.

A year in the making, Tommy’s Eagle Scout project was taking a dirt-filled storage room, dating back to 1904, in the basement of the O’Fallon, Illinois History Museum and creating an exhibit illustrating the long history of coal mining in the area. His display featured numerous photos, vintage artifacts and even a replica coal cart filled with real coal. The room, which included custom shelving and special LED lighting, was designed to give visitors the feel of being in an actual mine. The exhibit, finished in September 2017, provides an educational and meaningful experience for all ages.

Last year, Eagle Scouts around the country and their volunteers completed 8,461,760 hours of service towards Eagle projects. This works out to about 152.5 hours per project. Tommy and his 18 volunteers dedicated 934 hours of service to complete his coal mining exhibit.

Now a newly minted Eagle Scout, Tommy offered this advice for his fellow Scouts, “Thank everyone who helped you in any way. I had an open house reception where I personally gave tours and thanked all who helped.

“Be proud of your accomplishment,” he added. “And be a good example to those who follow you on the Eagle trail.”

The Glenn A. and Melinda W. Adams National Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year Award was established to recognize valuable service of an exceptional nature by an Eagle Scout candidate to a religious institution, a school, community or other entity through completion of an Eagle Scout project. Regional recipients receive $500, to be available for their future educational purposes or to attend a national or international Scouting event or facility.