Standing in the front porch of Open Door Ministries and watching the culmination of a summer's work, prospective Eagle Scout Robert Lagger paused to express his thanks.
"It's so miraculous what these guys do over here, and I'm thankful to be a part of their process," he said of the ministry.
About 30 friends and family last week came to watch young Lagger, 17, a member of Troop 210, dedicate a flag in front of the building on Sixth Street in East Toledo as part of his community service project necessary to become an Eagle Scout.
The project began, said Dan Gaynor, executive director of Open Door Ministries, after young Lagger contacted the organization in May asking about ways he could help.
After brainstorming ideas, he said, a two-part project was decided on: He would paint the porches in front of the organization's Cherry Street offices and help find a flag and install lighting for it at the ministry's 6th Street house.
Another member of Troop 210, Adam Chamberlain, helped his troop mate with the porches.
"He ended up getting covered in the paint," young Lagger laughed, pointing at his friend.
"It was pretty messy," young Chamberlain agreed.
Open Door Ministries provides transitional housing for people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, said Mr. Gaynor. The organization also serves veterans, which is how the idea for the flag originated.
Young Lagger obtained the flag from Sgt. Patrick Benjamin, stationed at Ft. Sill, Okla., who said he decided to donate the flag after being contacted by his father, who is staying at Open Door Ministries.
The flag, he said, flew over Mosul, Iraq, near the headquarters of his unit, the 2nd Battalion of the 5th Field Artillery Regiment. Young Lagger also built a base around the flagpole and planted flowers around it.
Steven Shaw Electric provided materials for the lighting, which allows the flag to fly at night, and also helped supervise the project, said Mr. Gaynor.
The boy scout's mother, Pat Lagger, was there to lend support.
"These guys start out as cub scouts selling popcorn, and now they're doing this," she said. "Its a lot of hard work."
-- Casey Sumner