Local companies pitch in to help Boy Scouts in Lutz

It was just 9 a.m., but the humidity was already oppressive, as Jake Smith and Ralph Rodriguez began unloading their truck filled with supplies.

The constant pulling and shifting, however, was not just the sound of a typical construction job, it was also the sound of a generous act.

Terrell King, left, of Westchase Roofing, and assistant scoutmaster Dan Romesburg were at the site of Troop 12’s roof installation on Sept. 7. (Brian Fernandes)

On the morning of Sept. 7, the men were among a number of workers giving back to an organization that gives so much – the Lutz Boy Scout Troop 12.

The scouts’ clubhouse was in need of serious roofing repairs.

Both of its buildings – the main facility and the storage unit – had lost many shingles through the years.

“They (shingles) have a life expectancy of 20 years here in Florida, less maybe,” said Dan Romesburg. “These have gone beyond that.”

There also were soft spots along the roofs, and the sheathing beneath the shingles, that had gone bad.

Ralph Rodriguez, right, sends up new shingles on a conveyor belt to Jake Smith for the roof of Troop 12’s storage unit.

Romesburg, the troop’s assistant scoutmaster, along with his colleagues, decided it was time for new roofs to be installed.

Earlier this year, the 54-member troop set out with a challenge to collect donations from the community.

They reached out to various organizations and finally found two willing participants – Gulfeagle Supply and Westchase Roofing.

Gulfeagle would provide all necessary roofing material on site and Westchase would install it – everything free of charge.

With a project that would have typically cost $9,000 to $10,000, Troop 12 now had two companies volunteering their time and service.

“There’s just not a lot of people these days willing to give up that kind of monetary nut,” said Romesburg. “That’s a lot for a company to take on.”

Gulfeagle Supply workers Ralph Rodriguez, left, and Jake Smith use a conveyor belt to load supplies on Troop 12’s main building.

The staff of Gulfeagle and Westchase both worked hand-in-hand to get the project underway. The roof was stripped to bare wood, and its frame was gradually re-layered with new shingles.

The job in total took several hours and was completed by afternoon.

Despite the intensive labor required, the workers performing the charitable act considered it a simple gesture.

“I was excited when they told me I was coming here,” said Smith, a Gulfeagle associate. “Not many people will give out generosity such as this.”

Terrell King, operations manager for Westchase, was on site to oversee the work.

“We try to do some community outreach. If somebody needs a little help and we can help, then we’re going to try,” King said.

Upon hearing that the companies had stepped forward to handle the job, the scouts were ecstatic.

The news also came at an opportune time, as Sept. 15 marks the troop’s 85th anniversary, and a celebration is planned to mark that occasion.

While the volunteer help lifted the boys’ spirits, Romesburg said he wanted the scouts to take away a deeper lesson from the experience.

“They need to see as they grow older and become responsible adults, that they need to learn to give back,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

Lutz Boy Scout 85th Anniversary
Where: 205 Second Ave. S.E., Lutz
When: Sept. 15 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: Free and open to former scouts, as well as scout sponsors
Details: Celebrating Troop 12’s longevity of 85 years. Refreshments will be served.
Info: Contact Paul Evans at (813) 679-2195 or moc.l1542417532iamg@154241753210sna1542417532vep1542417532.

Published September 12, 2018

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