Alden scouts serve up good deeds

Published 9:20 am Thursday, February 3, 2011

ALDEN — With no wintry weather on the radar for Sunday, it might just be a good day to take a Sunday morning drive to Alden to enjoy a warm breakfast and support local youth.

The Alden Cub Scouts Pack 11 will host a French toast breakfast from 9 a.m. to noon at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Alden. An annual event held on Scout Sunday, the scouts will help with preparing and serving the food, greeting and ushering the guests, and cleaning up afterward.

Pack 11 Cub Master Ann Bryson said money raised at the event goes toward a variety of scout projects and activities throughout the year, including camping and fishing equipment, the raingutter regatta races and the pinewood derby races.

One scout project in particular that these scouts cannot wait to finish up is a community pride project they started last August at the Alden Community Museum. The project includes installing a wheelchair ramp to make the museum handicap-accessible and a pergola.

A pergola is a framework that often covers a patio, similar to a gazebo. Vines and other climbing plants often adorn pergolas. This pergola is a lattice-roof gazebo, measuring about 16 feet by 30 feet. It will provide shelter and shade on the east side of the Alden Community Museum, for people to sit and enjoy or for the museum to use for outdoor demonstrations.

Gloria Peterson, president of the Alden Historical Society, has been absolutely delighted with the project. The pergola will allow the museum to hold outdoor meetings and host different kinds of demonstrations during classroom visits.

“We can take the washing tub and ringer out there and let the kids try to wash clothes with the scrubbing board,” she said. “And they can make as big of a mess as they want.”

“It faces a beautiful lake and it’s not right next to the road, so there’s no road noise,” Bryson added.

Next to the gazebo, the scouts got old tires from Hanson Tire Services, stacked them up to form a tire wall, and planted perennials to add color and decoration. The Albert Lea Seed House donated $500 worth of perennials for the project.

“This year, when they cascade down, that will be really pretty,” Bryson said.

The community pride project also includes installing the wheelchair-accessible ramp, solar lighting, built-in benches and a table. The ramp is part of the foundation of the pergola, offering entrance to the east side of the building. Peterson said the ramp will allow people in wheelchairs to now enjoy the museum.

“That was a very, very large benefit of this project for us,” she said.

Bryson said the project couldn’t have been possible without the help of many community donations. Wells Concrete donated the cement, the Alden Co-op Elevator donated their time in pouring the cement, and Ray Reamer of Albert Lea provided his well-honed building skills and knowledge.

Inmates of the Sentencing to Service program assisted in putting up the framing and Freeborn Lumber Co. provided a discount on building materials.

Minnesota Energy donated $1,500 toward materials and an additional $1,500 worth of labor moving a gas line.

“The donations have just been incredible,” said Bryson. “We’ve had so much help. It’s just really cool looking now.”

She said the remainder of the materials for the project have already been purchased, and they are just waiting for the snow to melt to complete everything.

“I can’t say enough about Ann, the Boy Scouts and the community,” Peterson said. “They just jumped in, and it’s a facility to be very proud of. We’re very grateful.”