MANATEE COUNTY — Childhood memories came flashing back as soon as Joe Smith stepped onto the grounds of Camp Flying Eagle.
“This actually is my old stomping grounds,” said Smith, who jumped at the chance to help fix up the facility on his day off. “I spent 40% of my scouting career here, and got 80% of my knowledge here as well.”
About 65 employees of Home Depot, including Smith, turned out Aug. 19 to give some much-needed care to the East County Boy Scout camp. Armed with shovels, paint brushes and other supplies, the group spent the day at the camp repainting structures, installing landscaping, doing electrical work and constructing several picnic tables. In total, the company donated about $6,000 in merchandise plus the volunteer force to put those items to use.
“This is a wonderful show of support from the community,” said Scott Hardy, district executive for Manatee County Scouting. “We are very appreciative of all the volunteers and Home Depot, in particular, too.”
Home Depot District Captain Kelli Tawney said employees representing seven Home Depot stores from Englewood to Sun City Center volunteered for the project, which took about four months to implement.
For Tom Monaghan, who has worked at the Englewood store for about three years, the efforts proved even more rewarding, as he and his son frequented the camp decades ago.
“I haven’t been here for 20 years,” Monaghan said as he swept and cleaned a patio structure. “There’re a lot more amenities, but it’s basically the same. It brings back the feelings when you come back. It’s nice to give back.”
“It’s a good feeling to do this,” she said. “It’s the best part of my job — giving back.”
Contact Pam Eubanks at email@example.com.
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