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Eagle Scouts complete projects at hospital

Hinsdale – Two local Boy Scouts are helping out at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital as they seek to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. Downers Grove North High School seniors Kevin Today and Sean Raines, both 17 years old and members of Downers Grove Boy Scout Troop 55, chose to complete their projects at the hospital because of its importance in the community.

Kevin put together a team that spent two Sundays renovating a strip of land between the hospital’s south parking garage and cooling towers. His group cleared debris, trimmed trees, re-routed a drainage pipe, painted a fire hydrant, planted flowers and laid mulch on July 27 and Aug. 3. Materials were donated by members of the community. He spent more than 100 hours planning the project, even meeting with local landscape architects for help.

Kevin’s connection to the hospital is far-reaching. His father, James, is the administrative director of facilities at the hospital and Kevin is a longtime volunteer who as a Boy Scout at age 10, distributed water to participants in the hospital’s annual 5K Rooney Heart Fun Run & Walk. Last summer Kevin worked in the grounds, environmental services, biomedical and construction departments as a junior hospital volunteer.  This summer he spent a month working as a painter in the maintenance department.

“When I set out to do my Eagle Scout project, I immediately thought of Adventist Hinsdale Hospital,” Kevin said. “This place is almost like a second home for me.”

Sean, who said he “likes building things,” organized a team that is building and painting 30 parking lot barricades that will be used during the Rooney 5K and other public events. The collapsible sawhorses, to be painted white with black stripes, will replace a garage full of barricades worn from years of use.  “On the surface it may seem like a small thing,” said Lt. Miguel Luna of the hospital security department, “but Sean’s project improves safety for hundreds of hospital visitors.”

“We could use more young people like Kevin and Sean, who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty to make our community a better place,” said Alan Schneider, vice president/chief operating officer of Adventist Hinsdale Hospital. Schneider worked with the boys on their plans. “Reaching the rank of Eagle Scout is a remarkable achievement and we’re honored to be a part of the process.”

Only 5 percent of all Boy Scouts achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest advancement rank in scouting. To earn the Eagle Scout rank, a Boy Scout must fulfill requirements in the areas of leadership, service, and outdoor skills. Famous Eagle Scouts include astronaut Neil Armstrong, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and movie director Steven Spielberg.