For his Eagle Scout project, Nick DeLuca, a sophomore at La Salle Academy, decided to help out the animals at the Cranston Animal Shelter by having his troop build a new exercise and play area for the animals.
"We had done a project here earlier, building benches for people to sit and watch the dogs play, and noticed that they could use the extra help," DeLuca said. "They had put up three sections of a fence for the yard but ran out of money for the fourth.” At the time, the troop had noticed that the yard was overgrown and uneven, and that the current exercise area was small. DeLuca approached his scoutmaster, Steve Saccocio, and began the process of having his project approved.
"It first has to go through the scoutmaster and then through the parents' committee and then to council for approval," he explained.
They set up a date and began looking to local building and supply stores as well as to the Cranston Department of Public Works for help with the project.
"The local DPW came by and helped ahead of time, clearing and leveling out the land," DeLuca said. "Home Depot and Lowes were both extremely generous in their donations.”
The scoutmaster and assistant scoutmaster were pleased with DeLuca's project.
"We will give back to any community, but we're always glad to give back to our own," said Assistant Scoutmaster Vincent Colizza. "It works out good for the community and good for the boys who want to get their projects done."
Also thrilled with DeLuca's project was Pat Maxwell, one of the staff members at the shelter, who will be receiving a keepsake book for the shelter, with photos all documenting the transformation taking place.
"They did a great job, these guys have done so much," she said. "They came to me one year ago and we talked about this and then they came and did all the measurements and in April they set the date. They were very prepared.”
DeLuca was pleased with the turnout he got that day and thrilled to be able to give back to the community.
"We had lots of volunteers," he said, noting that the weather was also cooperative.
His family stood by him throughout the day and couldn't be more proud.
"I'm really proud of my brother and what he's doing for the community," said DeLuca's sister, Talia.
Their mother, Susan, agreed.
"I'm really proud of his leadership skills and of the whole team for coming together for the community. They're really making a difference for these animals and the freedom they deserve."