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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Scout spearheads worthy project

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It took a group effort within Boy Scout Troop #38 to rehabilitate the Monett Chamber of Commerce's six-foot tall Christmas tree decorations. Volunteers scraped old paint, added layers of new paint and installed new lighting.
Monett's 20-year-old aluminum Christmas tree decorations have received a new lease on life thanks to work spearheaded by Eagle Scout Tanner Courtney.

"A couple of years ago I saw that the paint on all of the metal trees was chipping off," said Courtney.

The Monett Chamber of Commerce acquired 43 of six-foot-high trees in 1990 to hang primarily along Broadway and on city bridges. Holiday banners took the place of the trees when light poles on Broadway were replaced in 2000. Some of the trees have remained in use while others remained in storage due to weathering.

Chamber of Commerce President Regina Bowsher, at left, congratulated Boy Scout Tanner Courtney for his efforts in restoring 19 of the 43 aluminum Christmas tree displays around Monett during the holiday season.
Courtney proposed fixing up the trees as an Eagle Scout project. Last spring, Chamber Executive Director Suzy McElmurry contacted Boy Scout Troop #38 about pursuing the idea.

"At this point, I was looking for a project, so I jumped on the opportunity to re-paint the metal Christmas trees," Courtney said.

Initially, Courtney planned to work on 20 trees as an achievable goal. One broke in the process, leaving 19 when the work was done. Trees finished by Courtney and the other scouts hung on the Centennial overpass in December.

"I'm not really sure how long it took for each one from start to finish, because we were painting five or six at a time," Courtney said. "It did take quite a while as each one needed two or three coats of each color. It was also off and on when we could do work, because the people helping me were all busy at different times."

Over 20 scouts and parents worked with Courtney in preparing and painting the decorations, frequently in a group effort. McElmurry was impressed with the effort and pleased to have so many of the decorations primed for use again.

"I would like to think that the paint on them will last another 20 years," Courtney added.

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