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Yaklich works toward Eagle Scout status

Scout tackles sign improvements at the Prouty Building

PRINCETON — The Princeton Chamber of Commerce and Bureau County Red Cross have a new sign outside the Prouty Building, thanks to a local Boy Scout eager to receive his Eagle Scout status.

Mark Yaklich, 16, a member of Princeton Boy Scouts Troop 1063, went to Princeton Chamber Director Kim Frey and asked for ideas for a project that could benefit his hometown.

When she pointed him in the direction of the dilapidated and outdated signage for the Chamber and Red Cross out front of the Prouty building, he knew it was an area where he could make improvements.

Yaklich said the former sign was too small and couldn’t be seen from the road because of the overgrown bushes growing in front of the building.

With ideas on how he could make improvements, Yaklich raised $1,800 in donations from people and businesses and worked with Ken Stoner of Stoner Signs in coming up with a new design for the sign. Yaklich said when it came to the design, a big thing for the Chamber was getting its new logo put on the sign.

On Sept 17, Yaklich, along with nine fellow scouts, spent 10 hours completing the project. Princeton Commissioner Ray Mabry volunteered his services, and Al Taylor from Elite Landscape assisted with laying out the new landscaping.

At the Sept. 19 city council meeting, Yaklich was recognized by Princeton Mayor Joel Quiram who pointed out the improvements out front of the Prouty Building and thanked Yaklich for his hard work and dedication.

Eagle Scout is the highest achievement or rank attainable for Boy Scouts. Only about 5 percent of Boy Scouts are granted this rank after a lengthy review process. The requirements necessary to make Eagle take years to fulfill.

Requirements include earning at least 21 merit badges and completion of an extensive service projects the scout plans, organizes, leads and manages.

With only two badges left to earn, Yaklich is hoping to earn his Eagle Scout honor by the end of the year. He said it’s important to him as he looks toward the future. He said many scouts who earn the honor are set apart from others when applying to colleges.

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