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Eagle Scout candidate helps Hospitality House

Article Published: May. 5, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Eagle Scout candidate helps Hospitality House

Aspiring Eagle Scout Mark Morley designed and built benches for the new Hospitality House in Boone, as part of his community service project.

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To reach the rank of Eagle Scout - the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America - a Scout must plan, organize, develop and produce a service project that will benefit a school, organization or religious institution in his community.

When Mark Morley was faced with the challenge, the answer was right in front of him. Morley's father was working on the timber-framing for the new Hospitality House and encouraged his son to think about something that would add to the new facility.

Young Morley decided to take advantage of his woodworking skills. With the help of his father, a few friends and local architect David Patrick Moses, Morley began the process of designing three outdoor benches for an enclosed patio at the shelter. He also wanted to include planters filled with greenery to accent the outdoor space.

Once a concept was developed, Morley began the process of seeking the materials needed. Carolina Timberworks pitched in quickly to provide him with the wood and hardware needed, and Boone Paint provided wood stain. With some guidance from his father, he built the three benches and delivered them to Hospitality House in April. Morley also included planters with greenery that were donated by Charlotte's Greenhouse and two rockers donated by Roger Reedy at Roger's Trading Post.

"This has been a great project in terms of satisfaction for me," Morley said. "It was so cool to come move everything in and actually feel like I made something beneficial to the new Hospitality House. This project showed me what it's like when members of the community pull together and help to make something as great as our new Hospitality House."

"One of my favorite memories from working with Mark on this project was when we met with (executive director) Lynne Mason at the new Hospitality House one cold afternoon," said Eric Morley, Mark's father. "At first, I did a lot of talking but, upon realizing my mistake, I allowed Mark to take over. I was so proud of him for leading the rest of the meeting, and I realized then that he was no longer a boy, but a very capable young man."

Other members of Morley's family were involved with the project, too. According to mother Emily Morley, the family donated all the funds to purchase the items needed to complete the project.

"Every Christmas, our family does a donation in each other's honor to a cause that is important to us," she said. "This year, the donation was made to Mark to use for his Eagle Scout project. Since so many businesses generously dontated the materials needed, Mark is using the money to buy more plants and hanging baskets for the courtyard."

Morley is a member of Boy Scout Troop 109 and will receive his Eagle Award on June 7. He joined Cub Scouts in kindergarten and then moved into the Boy Scout Troop in sixth grade.

"My father, both grandfathers and my uncle were scouts, but never achieved Eagle Scout," Morley said. "They encouraged me to work toward Eagle Scout, and I'm glad they did."

Founded in 1984, Hospitality House is a non-profit crisis intervention agency that provides shelter and services to the homeless, operates the community soup kitchen and administers WeCAN, the local crisis assistance program. Hospitality House is a High Country United Way agency.

Hospitality House relies on support from the local community to fund vital programs and services that help those in crisis and homeless situations. For information on how you can get involved, contact Jill Kuykendall, director of development, at (828) 262-3461. For more information, visit

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