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Teen paves way to earning Eagle Scout ranking by getting results for his school

Help Ian Purrone, 14, build pathway around his Clermont school

CLERMONT, Fla. – At 14, Ian Purrone could soon be among the youngest Scouts to achieve the highest ranking in the Boy Scouts of America organization. 

"When you get the Eagle Scout rank, basically, that means that you've achieved so much throughout your childhood, basically," Purrone said.

He's already achieved several merits and now has to go through a series of requirements, including an Eagle Scout service project, before he turns 18. 

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The eighth-grader plans on doing so at his school by getting results for the garden at Imagine South Lake Charter Elementary in Clermont.

"We're gonna be digging and then we're gonna put down the concrete fines, which kind of help stabilize the base. Then, we'll lay down the bricks to get them all nice and orderly," Purrone said.

His project involves building a walkway that will cover 80 feet from the entrance to the end of the school's garden.

It's already come a long way.

"I remember when this was nothing, this was just dirt, and so far, they've transformed it amazingly," Purrone said.

Kathleen Dial, the principal at Purrone's school, said his efforts have gone a long way.

"Our fourth- and fifth-graders did that, even putting the garden in to help improve the look of that area, and then Ian coming behind them and then offering his time and talent as well has made us really proud," Dial said.

Nancy Dittrich, the owner of Carolina Masonry, said Purrone made quite the impression on her when he contacted her for help with the project.

"I look up to him. As an adult, I look up to this kid," Dittrich said. "It's really awesome to see him doing this and wanting to be a part of something."

Ian Perrone, 14, is working to earn his Eagle Scout ranking by getting results for the garden at Imagine South Lake Charter Elementary in Clermont.
Ian Perrone, 14, is working to earn his Eagle Scout ranking by getting results for the garden at Imagine South Lake Charter Elementary in Clermont.

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Ian's received support from local businesses and corporations for materials like concrete and bricks, and even food for workers. 

"It's a testament to the person he is, it definitely is -- to see how much he loves this school, as well, and what mark he wants to leave behind," Dittrich said.

Dittrich's company is donating the manpower. Some of her employees will help Purrone install the materials. 

"Ms. Nancy, she's gonna bring two of her workers over and we're gonna pay for them. I thought that would be very nice for them. And we're also trying to get some money for plaques, for thank you letters," he said.

Purrone said it's been a long road, but he believes the hard work will all be worth it. 

"This means everything. I've been working on it for about four years now. When you get the Eagle Scout rank, it does stay with you throughout your whole lifetime, your whole career," he said.
 
Purrone still needs to raise about $650 for his Eagle Scout project by Saturday.

If you'd like to help, a GoFundMe page has been set up here.


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