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About six years ago, when Kade Richard­son’s spec­tac­u­lar dad died less than two years af­ter his won­der­ful grandpa died, his grand­mother and mother set about or­der­ing head­stones. Grandpa had wanted benches in the Ben­jamin ceme­tery so fam­ily and friends (es­pe­cially the el­derly) had some­thing to rest on as they paid their re­spects and vis­ited. Mark Richard­son had pre­vi­ously told his fa­ther that one of their sons would ce­ment benches in the ceme­tery as an Ea­gle Scout Pro­ject.

Mark had de­voted his life to ser­vice and ac­com­plished more serv­ing of oth­ers in 44 years than most do in 88 years. He wanted his sons to know the value of work as well. He owned a land­scap­ing com­pany and was in a po­si­tion to be able to be there when friends, neigh­bors and rel­a­tives needed the help of his equip­ment, strong phys­i­cal body, knowl­edge and will­ing­ness to work. He had fully in­tended to be there to as­sist his sons in the pro­ject.

Due to his un­timely, sud­den death, Richard­son’s sons were left on their own to fin­ish merit badges and start the Ea­gle Pro­ject. Man­ag­ing alone, Lynn found it very dif­fi­cult to stay con­sis­tent with the ef­fort. Their son Kade, age 11 at his fa­ther’s death and now 17, chose to honor those wishes. He placed a tem­po­rary bench on top of the hill un­til he could present the pro­ject, pa­per­work, and “how to” to the Scout pro­gram.

He al­most gave up sev­eral times, but with the help of a few lead­ers in his Troop 1510 and ward mem­bers who helped with the com­puter work etc., along with his mom’s en­cour­age­ment, the pro­ject “wish” be­came re­al­ity.

Mom had been pray­ing the last two years for an an­gel to come into their life to help (like her hus­band had helped so many other boys fin­ish their Ea­gle Scout Projects). She thanks the Poul­sons for be­com­ing the car­ing an­gels who fi­nally got the ball rolling this past sum­mer with the in­cen­tive and con­fi­dence to fin­ish.

On Sept. 8, vol­un­teers ce­mented benches, planted trees for shade, weeded, washed head­stones, weed whipped, lev­eled ground, cleaned re­strooms and spruced up the Ben­jamin City Ceme­tery like new as part of Kade’s pro­ject.

In­scribed on Kade’s dad’s head­stone is, “What a man be­comes, de­pends upon how many he helped along the way.” Ref­er­ence - Matt. 25:34-40.

*** When free­dom does not have a pur­pose, when it does not wish to know any­thing about the rule of law en­graved in the hearts of men and women, when it does not lis­ten to the voice of con­science, it turns against hu­man­ity and so­ci­ety. - Pope John Paul II

*** Our free­dom can be mea­sured by the num­ber of things we can walk away from. - Ver­non Howard

Vol­un­teers in­stalled benches, weeded and oth­er­wise spruced up the Ben­jamin City Ceme­tery on Sept. 8 as part of Kade Richard­son’s Ea­gle Scout Pro­ject.

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