The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 17, 2013

Person of the Week: A big hit: Township senior’s Eagle Scout project scores with T-ball players

Frank Sojak
fsojak@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — David Yoder and his fellow Eagle Scouts were recognized for their contributions to the community during the Laurel Highlands Council, Boy Scouts of America annual dinner on Feb. 27.

David, a member of Troop 114 in Davidsville, opened the ceremony by leading the Eagle Scouts in the presentation of the colors at the event, held at the Pasquerilla Conference Center in downtown Johnstown.

Scouts have to complete a number of objectives, including a community-service project, to obtain Eagle Scout status.

David’s project to benefit the community was the construction of a structure that houses two dugouts and a storage shed for the T-ball field at the Conemaugh Township Youth League complex in Hollsopple.

If it rained, the T-ball players had no cover and had to run to a dugout at a neighboring field, David said. The

T-ball teams also had to store equipment at another field, he said.

“My original plan was to build two dugouts, one for the home team and one for the away team,” said the

17-year-old, a senior at Conemaugh Township Area High School.

Upon discussing the plan with league officials, the plan was altered to one structure containing two dugouts with a storage shed in the center, he said. League officials believed one structure, located on the first base side, better suited the terrain of the field, he said.

The structure is 30 feet long and

7 feet wide. It was completed last year.

“I had tons of help” David said about building the structure.

Helping with the project were his father, Gregory, a carpenter by trade; his mother, Tracy; his brothers, Ryan and John, both of whom are Boy Scouts; all the members of his troop, including Scoutmaster Bill Miller; Dan Thomas, a mason and friend of the family; an uncle, Reubon Yoder, also a carpenter; and Mike Mishler, an excavator by trade.

U-Rent Sales, Johnstown, which is owned by his uncle, John Teeter, donated the use of the tools and equipment needed for the job.

Area businesses also gave David a substantial discount on building materials.

David said he raised $800 for the materials by holding Home Run Derby events. The league donated the remaining money that was needed.

David said he appreciates all the support he received. Without  it, he could not have completed the project, he said.

David said it was important for him to do the project.

“I played baseball there my whole life,” he said, adding that building the structure was a way of giving back to the league. “It will be good for the

T-ball players.”

For his efforts, David is the Person of the Week.

League President Gary Black said the T-ball players were ecstatic upon seeing the dugouts.

“It’s like they were in the big leagues,” he said.

David’s father is a past president of the league and his mother a past secretary, he said. Both spent much time working to improve the fields, Black said. David learned from his parents the importance of becoming and staying involved, he said.

“He’s an all-around good young man,” he said.

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