Paul Warmka has been a Boy Scout for as long as he can remember.
“I started as a Cub Scout when I was young and have basically been a Scout my whole life,” Warmka said.
During all those years as a Scout, the 17-year-old Warmka can’t remember a time when his local troop wasn’t being supported in some way, shape, or form by the American Legion post in Monticello- and he’s right.
Local Boy Scout troops were chartered under Monticello American Legion Post 260, the Legion has financially supported local Boy Scout troops, and boys working towards their Eagle Scout recognitions have always had the support of the local American Legion.
So it was only fitting that ewhen Paul Warmka set out to plan his Eagle Scout project, he turned to the organization that has been there for the local Scouting community from Day 1.
“When I started thinking about ways I could help the community, I thought about all the help the American Legion gives our community,” Warmka said.
That includes the Boy Scouts, he said.
“I decided I wanted to help the Legion, because they have given us so much help,” Warmka said.
Paul Warmka decided the best gift he could give the members of the Monticello American Legion Post 260 was a mural on the south side of the American Legion post building at 304 Elm St, in Monticello.
“I wanted it to be a memorial to our veterans, and a ‘thank-you’ to all who served,” Warmka said.
To achieve a design worthy of honoring the local veterans, Paul Warmka called upon the services of his father Alan Warmka, and Alan’s cousin, Craig Gallagher, who work professional restoring and renovating churches. Craig Gallagher owns the St, Michael-based Craig Gallagher Liturgical Art Studio.
“We did a mock-up on Photoshop,” Paul Warmka said. They created two designs, one with the stars and stripes of the American flag and Bald Eagle, and one design without an eagle.
After the Legion picked its favorite design (featuring the Bald Eagle), there was a plethora of paperwork and project pitches before Boy Scout officials that needed to be completed.
Once approved, the initially stages of the project commenced on Sunday, Aug. 16.
First, Paul Warmka and a handful of Boy Scout volunteers power washed the south side of the American Legion post. On Tuesday, Aug. 25, the Scouts sprayed a coat of primer onto the building.
On Thursday, Aug. 27, a projector was set up in the parking lot of the Legion and the mural design was traced onto the wall in pencil. A day later, on Friday, Aug. 28, the pencil outline was drawn over in black paint.
Scouts gathered in two groups at 7 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29 to do the actually painting. The project was completed on Sunday, Aug. 30.
In addition to priceless help from fellow Scouts and family members, the local Sherwin Williams paint store was instrumental in making the mural a reality by donating all the paint and supplies to Paul Warmka.
“Without them, this project could never have happened,” Paul Warmka said.
As the project neared completion on Saturday, Aug. 29, the future Eagle Scout couldn’t have been more proud of the shades of red, white, and blue before him.
“I have a high respect for people in the military and all they have given to us,” Warmka said.
“This is one small thing I could do to thank them,” he said.
Reach Jeff Hage at email@example.com