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Eagle Scout candidate renovates Laurelville mini-golf course

| Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 9:01 p.m.
Kelly Vernon | The Mt. Pleasant Journal
Aaron Coffman, 16, of Connellsville demonstrates where the new pavers will be placed on the holes of the renovated miniature golf course recently at Laurelville Mennonite Church Center.

Aaron Coffman, 16, of Connellsville recently took on the task of renovating the deteriorating miniature golf course at Laurelville Mennonite Church Center as his Eagle Scout project.

“To have Aaron, who attends our summer camp, renovate the course is a big undertaking, and it's very helpful for us and our guests,” said Michael Yoder, the center's executive director.

Coffman began the project last year by measuring the course and calculating materials needed to complete the job.

He started the project one weekend in early April with help from his fellow Boy Scouts from Troop 150 of Scottdale.

The Scouts camped on the softball field and worked throughout the entire weekend removing the wooden frames and carpet around the holes.

Every weekend since that time, Coffman has also received the help of friends, family, center association members, his fellow church members and Wagion Lodge 6 members in an attempt to complete the renovations before summer camp begins at the facility.

In addition, his parents and other volunteers have helped with unloading materials while he was in school.

Gene Hartzler and Brenda Johnson have also been instrumental with the project.

“A lot of people are willing to help, because they love the camp and (the golf) course. They also know how much work is needed to repair the course,” Coffman said.

In addition to repairing the course, work was done to repair drainage issues surrounding the course and build retaining walls to prevent flooding on a few of the holes.

Cracks in the concrete pads on the course will be repaired before installing new carpeting.

All of the materials required to complete the renovation were donated by local businesses including R.I. Lampus Co., which donated the pavers to edge the course's holes.

Coffman said the cost of donated materials has exceeded $4,000.

“I am honestly thrilled to be doing this project, because there were at one point plans to remove the mini golf course all together. So just for it to still be there is very exciting,” Coffman said.

Bruce Garsteck of Bruce's Carpeting in Mt. Pleasant will lend his expertise with layout, delivery and utilizing the carpeting most efficiently.

Garsteck's wife, Nancy, said the center has always been good to them, and this was a way to give back to a community that has supported them.

“Aaron showing leadership is something you do not see every day. For a person of his age to take on a project of this size is spectacular,” she said.

Scoutmaster Darrin Ullery said Coffman is a very dynamic and hard-working young man who is highly motivated.

The refurbishing of the miniature golf course at Laurelville was Coffman's planning and concept.

“I am quite impressed with Aaron and his choice for his Eagle project. He exemplifies leadership, while not just delegating duties, but he is not afraid to work hard either,” Ullery said.

Coffman is looking forward to the course being done and brand new, but he realizes that will only come after he and his volunteers put a lot of hard work into the project, he said.

“We are excited to see it finished. It will be a big enjoyment for guests of all ages,” Yoder said.

Coffman is the son of Doug and Kim Coffman of Connellsville.

Kelly Vernon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-547-5722 or