If you have unused sports equipment gathering dust in your garage, consider donating it this weekend.
Casey Neeper, a member of Scouts BSA, is working on his Eagle Scout service project, a sports equipment collection drive to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs.
The collection event and Neeper’s Eagle service project work day are planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Boys & Girls Club at 841 11th St. N.E., in Cleveland.
Neeper joined Cub Scouts as a Webelo in 2011, and has been a Boy Scout since 2013. He got the idea for a sports equipment collection drive about a year ago. He began "setting everything in motion" in late May.
"I love sports," Neeper said. He said a fellow Scout told him how he goes to the Boys & Girls Clubs after school and there isn't much sports equipment for the kids to use.
Neeper said he is glad to focus his Eagle Scout service project to help a worthy cause like Boys & Girls Clubs.
"It's for them to stay after school and play," he said.
In addition to collecting used (good condition) and new sports equipment, Neeper will also paint 4-Square, hopscotch and target game boards on the concrete basketball court outside the center.
Neeper said several adults in the community have helped him prepare for his service project, including Ron Crawford, manager at Sherwin-Williams, who gave him a discount on paint; Jason Padgett, the Painter Unit director at Boys & Girls Clubs of the Ocoee Region; and J.P. Creel, an adult leader in Scouts with contacts at the Boys & Girls Clubs.
Neeper has been spreading the word about the sports equipment collection event through Facebook and on Instagram.
"I got flyers to give to people at school and my troop," he added. "People have already donated."
Neeper estimated $1,500 to $2,000 in sports equipment has been donated already. He said most of the Scouts helping him Saturday will be cleaning sports equipment and making sure it is in good condition.
He is also planning an auction to raise money to support his Eagle Scout service project.
A member of Troop 44, Neeper is a senior at Cleveland High School. His parents are Michael and Bethany Neeper, and he has two siblings who are also involved in Scouting: Jamie is a Life Scout and Sawyer is a Cub Scout at the Bear level.
Neeper has also received support from his grandparents, Sherry and Tim Haney. They lived here for many years but now own a shop in Wears Valley called Backwoods Creations. Neeper is auctioning a carved wooden bear on the Troop 44 Facebook page until Aug. 19.
The Troop 44 Scoutmaster is David Browand.
"I've been in the same troop my entire Scout career," Neeper said. "It's a very well-run troop."
For more information about Neeper’s Eagle Scout service project, visit the Troop 44 Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/mytroop44/
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