Scout project honors shelter donors
For Andrew Lavin, the answer to “how I spent my summer vacation” is one befitting an Eagle Scout candidate: The 17-year-old worked on a charity project.
Lavin said his project was more tedious than difficult, and by the end of the summer he had created three framed oak displays engraved with the names of about 430 donors who supported the construction of the Torres Community Shelter.
Lavin said at the Oct. 18 unveiling of the donor recognition boards that the idea came about because he wanted to honor a woman he admired. “I came to [shelter supporter] Mary Flynn wanting to do something for Coleen Jarvis and she gave me this idea.” City Councilmember Jarvis, who died of cancer in May 2004, had been a board member and supporter of the homeless shelter, which opened in spring 2003 on Silver Dollar Way, off Whitman Avenue.
The wood—various tones of tongue-and-groove flooring—and some expertise was given by Jasper Lerch of Transformation Hardwood Floors. Lavin also had the support of Chico High School teacher Tom Phelan, who uses computer-assisted manufacturing techniques in his industrial technology classes.
Lavin got a typed list of donors (including those listed as “anonymous") from Flynn and used a computer-guided laser to engrave the names on different sizes and grains of wood.
“It took a lot of time,” said Lavin, who, with some help from volunteers toward the end, assembled the wood pieces, glued them onto backgrounds, surrounded them with frames and stained them.
The wood pieces are staggered within their frames so they give a brick-like feel.
“The sum of the parts is this greater whole,” said shelter supporter and City Councilmember Andy Holcombe.
“This is grass-roots, people from the community,” said Tony Valim, shelter board member and community outreach coordinator. “This [display] is an artistic, beautiful way to say, ‘We thank you. We recognize you.'”
In the early stages of fund-raising, donors were asked to give $73, a number that was tied to the cost of building one square foot of the shelter.
Lavin, who is in Troop 2, was set to face the last board of review to receive the Eagle Scout designation on Oct. 20.