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Cranberry Township to celebrate 100th year of Scouting with dedication of monument

| Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012, 9:00 p.m.
Cranberry Journal
One of three granite panels that illustrate the Circle of Scouting will be unveiled at the dedication of Centennial Plaza in Graham Park on Oct. 7. Submitted

Centennials are made for celebrations.

So, on Oct. 7 at 11 a.m., Cranberry Township officials will mark the 100th year of Scouting in America in a special way. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will dedicate the community's new Scouting monument and plaza in Graham Park called Centennial Plaza.

Dale Pinkerton, Butler County commissioner, will be the master of ceremonies. And proclamations will be issued from federal, state and local officials, naming this the nation's only monument/plaza dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Scouting.

The site will welcome Boy and Girl Scouts as they gather to carry out service activities. The general public will be able to enjoy the property, too, either by catch-and-release fishing in the one-acre, man-made lake or walking through the three-acre environmental area.

“We raised the full amount of $150,000 through donations and in-kind services,” said Bruce Mazzoni, president of the township's board of supervisors and co-chair of the project.

Only $10,000 was raised for the endowment fund, he said, but money made from the continued sales of pavers and bronze plaques to be installed in the plaza will build up that fund.

“We would like to get $50,000 for the endowment,” he said.

Ultimately, the parcel of ground will be given to the Scouts for care and maintenance.

New pavers will be added twice a year to the plaza. Mazzoni recommends that residents visit the website, www.CTCChest.org, to find ways to contribute. He cautions that the cost of the pavers has increased, since the engraving is no longer free.

The idea started with local Scout leaders who wanted to do something special for the 100th anniversaries of both organizations: The Boy Scouts celebrated their 100 years in 2010, when the project began; The Girl Scouts will honor that milestone this year. In Cranberry, there are 450 girl Scouts and 675 Boy Scouts.

Today, the plaza features a three-sided monument to Scouting families. In this Circle of Scouting, each panel represents a generation's growth — as it begins with a family of parents and two children; then, as the son and daughter make their Scout pledges and salute the flag; and finally, as the children, now young adults, graduate and become productive members of society.

Three time capsules will be buried near the monument. Scouts will determine the items that will be preserved for history. The capsules will be opened on the 125th, 150th and 200th anniversary.

The major donors for the project were the family of John McClymond, Glenn R. Logan and Rhea Jean McCandless Logan Family Trust and Simpson McCrady. At the next level of giving were The Family of Tom Coyle, Butler Tourism, First Energy Foundation, PNC, Chesapeake Operating Inc. and the A.J. and Sigismunda Palumbo Charitable Trust.

Hundreds of donations from private donors have been received, and area businesses also have contributed.

Scout troops from outside the township have helped to raise funds.

At the dedication, the American flag, a gift from the McClymonds family, will fly. John and his wife, Neva, owners of Cranberry Supply Co., have been a part of Cranberry Township for decades.

“This (the flag, pole and marker) will be a good memorial for my husband,” said Neva.

He was the man, she remembered, who when approached to give something that would benefit the community, always came through.

Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6353 orddreeland@tribweb.com.

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