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FROM STAFF REPORTS
Aurora -- Boy Scout Troop 269 honored its ninth Eagle Scout in the past year -- Aaron Sekela -- during a court of honor March 16 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church.
The rank of Eagle is the highest a boy can achieve. He must complete 21 merit badges, including 13 that are required. He also must plan, develop and execute a service project that benefits an organization other than Boy Scouts.
During the ceremony, Troop 269 Scoutmaster Dave Stafford presented Sekela, the son of Bill and Barb Sekela of Aurora, with the Eagle Award, including a patch, medal and special neckerchief. He also receive a U.S. flag that was flown over the United States Capitol at the request of Rep. David Joyce.
The new Eagle Scout and senior at Aurora High School gave his mother an Eagle Scout mother's pin for her dedication and support throughout his Scouting career. He then recognized Eagle Scout-Scoutmaster Stafford with a mentor's pin.
To complete the service project requirement, Sekela chose to recognize OLPH since the church is the charter organization for Troop 269 and has supported the troop throughout Sekela's time in Boy Scouts.
After meeting with the Rev. James Daprile, Sekela learned of a desire to have an outdoor area behind the church that could be used in fair weather as a meeting and worship area for PSR classes and youths.
So he devised a plan to create an outdoor amphitheater behind the church, made of all natural material and complimenting several other Eagle projects that were ongoing on the grounds. It also was to beautify an area which had been unused.
Sekela planned to clear the area of debris and remove some trees to create a path to the amphitheater. Some large trees were used to create benches and a large cherry tree trunk was used to make a natural lectern in front of a backdrop of existing hemlocks.
Other branches and debris were chipped and used as a natural mulch floor.
Sekela worked with El Camino restaurant to raise funds through a dinner, and receive assistance from the Aurora One Fund and private donations from family and friends.
He led a team of more than 20 volunteers that donated 200 man hours to clear the site and build and install the benches and lectern.
"I would like to thank Kevin Wykoff for donating his time and abilities to safely remove the large trees and Scoutmaster Stafford for guidance and helping to create the natural lectern," Sekela said.
"Aaron did a terrific job on this Eagle Scout project, and I am sure the parishioners will enjoy using this new area for years to come," said the Rev. Daprile.