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Scout to make new welcome signs for Eagle project

Life Scout Kenny Wellens will build and install new welcome signs for Oxford Twp. to be placed along M-24 on the north and south ends of town. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
November 16, 2011 - Those shabby-looking signs welcoming folks to Oxford Township are finally going to be replaced thanks to the vision and community spirit of a local scout.

Last week, township officials voted 7-0 to allocate an amount not to exceed $1,000 to finance Life Scout Kenny Wellens' proposal to construct and erect new welcome signs along M-24 on the north and south ends of the community.

"I congratulate you on your effort here and on your project," said township Clerk Curtis Wright. "It's well-needed for the township."

The current wooden welcome signs are "not a good representation of our township," said Wellens, a 17½-year old member of Troop 366, which meets at Oxford United Methodist Church on E. Burdick St.

"Right now, (they're) falling apart," he told township officials as he pitched his proposal. "The colors are off, there are boards falling apart, and they're in poor condition."

Using volunteer scout labor, Wellens intends to construct two new wooden signs, each with a "bold blue" background and "bright gold" lettering that reads "Welcome to Oxford: Established 1837."

"Blue and gold obviously representing the Oxford school colors, much better than the green and rotting white that is currently on the sign today," he said.

Wellens estimated it should cost approximately $400 a piece to build each new sign.

Should the township ever decide to have professional quality signs made for the north and south gateways, Wellens suggested the scout-made signs could be moved to the community's western and eastern gateways, thereby giving Oxford more signs and ensuring the scouts' hard work doesn't go to waste.

Wellens will attempt to have the new signs in place by Christmas. He absolutely must get the project done before he turns 18 in March. That's because this project is part of his effort to attain the rank of Eagle Scout, so all the necessary requirements must be completed before his 18th birthday.

"I'd like to thank you," said township Supervisor Bill Dunn. "You're a very well-spoken young man. I'm proud of the way you presented yourself. Your parents and your troop should be proud of you. I'm sure you'll do great in the future."

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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