Jacob Tanski earns Eagle Scout rank in Aurora
Jacob Tanski a Life Scout from Scouts BSA Troop 269 in Aurora, first saw a project like this in 2016 from US Army Sgt. 1st Class Todd Fitzwater, who created a flag retirement box for his community as one of his Wood Badge Tickets.
Fitzwater was a Wood Badge Patrol member with Jacob’s father Paul Tanski. Fast forward to the fall of 2019, Jacob realized that Aurora did not have one of these flag retirement boxes. He had a meeting with Fitzwater and discussed what it would take to create one for his community as his Eagle Scout project.
Armed with this new information, Jacob began his search this spring to find an appropriate location within the City of Aurora to place the box. His first choice was the Aurora VFW and he set up a meeting with Post Commander Rick Carpenter.
The meeting quickly turned from a search for a location to a brainstorming session on what it would look like and where at the VFW the box would go. Jacob had always planned to have the box set on a concrete base a suggestion by Carpenter lead to seven bronze military medallions being placed on the base as well.
Fundraising was the next step and Jacob turned to the Aurora One Fund.
Every year since Jacob became a Cub Scout, he has participated in stuffing the envelopes that get mailed out by the Aurora One Fund. The fund sent Jacob a generous donation to help with his project. He also received a generous donation from NEOPAT, Northeast Ohio Foundation for Patriotism and the VFW donated the bronze medallions. Thanks to these organizations and others he was able to raise over $1,000 to make his project a reality.
Jacob lead a team of six Scouts and three adults in creating the concrete base for the box. The scouts mixed nine 80 pound bags of concrete by hand and poured the slurry into a wooden frame they built.
To help the scouts have ownership of the project, Jacob asked that each team member place one of the seven bronze medallions, representing all the branches of the military including Merchant Marine, into the concrete base, while Jacob himself placed in the center a medallion representing Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Jacob turned to TECHNICHOLL, in Twinsburg, which helped him with the vinyl wrap that decorates the box. April Nicholl graciously donated her time and artwork to the project.
“I will remember meeting all the great Military Veterans including Post Commander Rick Carpenter from the VFW, Tom and April Nicholl from TECHNICHOLL, Sgt. 1st Class Todd Fitzwater, and Rick Dechant from NEOPAT. I will also remember being supported by my friends in Scouting who turned out to help me make my Eagle project a success.”
The finished box now stands on its’ base by the main entrance to Aurora VFW Post 2629, 1033 N Aurora Rd., and is available to anyone in Aurora who would like to have an old flag retired properly. Just stop by and drop the flag inside the box.
To learn more about Scouts BSA Troop 269, visit troopmasterweb.com/Troop269. Troop 269 meets every Thursday during the academic year at Our Lady of Perpetual Help church at 342 S. Chillicothe Road and during the summer months at Aurora’s Sunny Lake Park from 7 to 8:30 p.m.