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Irwin church benefits from Scout project

| Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Every month, some of Irwin's neediest residents make their way down a cement flight of stairs to the basement of a downtown church to receive donated food.

An observant Boy Scout noticed some of the senior citizens struggled to get down the stairs and devoted his community-service project to making that trip safer.

Hunter McGowan, a senior at Norwin High School, completed the railing for his church in downtown Irwin with friends from his Boy Scout troop. The project is part of McGowan's effort to earn the highest Boy Scout rank.

“Now that they have the safety features on them, people can use them and feel more comfortable going up and down,” McGowan said. “It was rewarding to see people happy when they were in place.”

McGowan, who lives in North Huntingdon, has been a member of First United Methodist Church of Irwin his entire life. He was baptized there, he said.

As part of the project, McGowan installed a rail next to the stairs on the outside of the church.

He also patched up some of the crumbling cement and put in a new cement pad and sidewalk near the stairs.

By the end of the project, the boys had used 18, 80-pound bags of cement.

“I've never dealt with cement before, so I had to learn how it worked,” McGowan said. “I wanted to do it right the first time,”

Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626, or adolasinski@tribweb.com.

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