Girl Scout raises $22K for memorial pavilion, fire pit - WNEM TV 5

Girl Scout raises $22K for memorial pavilion, fire pit

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MIDLAND, MI (WNEM) -

Meet Emily Deese: she's an 18-year-old senior at Midland High School. She's also a proud Girl Scout and an aspiring entrepreneur.

"I just thought it was a really great project when I heard about it," Deese said.

Deese decided to put the skills she learned as a Girl Scout to the test as a project manager. Deese is having a memorial built in honor of Douglas Sowles, a Breckenridge teacher who passed away earlier this year.

"This is the package we got it's from Coverworks and so this will be the pavilion," Deese said.

Deese has written two grants, worked side by side with the Breckenridge government, pulled permits and solicited area businesses for donations all to honor one of the most beloved members of this small Gratiot County community.

"The Gratiot County Community Foundation was really generous in giving me some money," Deese said.

But most of the money Deese drummed up is from donations, in all she raised $22,000.

And she's been pretty creative in gathering those donations. For donations of $100 or more, Deese will engrave a brick for you on the custom fire pit she's having built.

But she said the most rewarding is the response from the community which has been great.

"Especially because a lot of people knew Mr. Sowles, they either had him teacher or as a Boy Scout mentor. They're really accepting of this project," Deese said.

With help from the city of Breckenridge and others, and assuming the project goes as planned, Deese hopes the memorial pavilion and fireplace will be completed next month.

"I am hoping to have the fire pit and pavilion dedicated on Veteran's Day," Deese said.

If you’d like to donate to Deese’s project, check out her Facebook page.

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