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West Hartford Student Takes on Service-Learning Initiative for Eagle Scout Project

West Hartford resident Oliver Avery prepares to construct the carts for Chrysalis Center's Freshplace that he purchased as part of his Eagle Scout project. Submitted photo

For his Eagle Scout project, Oliver Avery, a senior at Watkinson School, raised funds that will assist Chrysalis Center’s Freshplace Program.

By Ronni Newton

Oliver Avery with the carts for Chrysalis Center’s Freshplace that he purchased as part of his Eagle Scout project, and constructed with the help of Boy Scout Troop 163. Submitted photo

Oliver Avery chose Chrysalis Center as the beneficiary of his Eagle Scout project, and planned to raise $745 to purchase 20 sturdy metal carts so those who use the organization’s Freshplace food pantry could more easily transport their food home.

Avery, who lives in West Hartford and is a senior at Watkinson School, did much more than that.

Avery’s efforts were so successful that he more than doubled his goal, raising in excess of $1,500 from 22 donors.

Earlier this month, with the assistance of other members of Boy Scout Troop 163, Avery assembled the 4o carts he was able to purchase. The carts were then delivered to Chrysalis Center, where they will be very useful for the members, many of whom walk to Freshplace, the organization’s innovative food pantry that provides fresh, healthy food to families in need in the North End of Hartford.

“We are grateful to Oliver for choosing to support Chrysalis Center in such a meaningful way,” said Adria Giordano, director of development for Chrysalis Center. “The beautiful carts will help many of our members who walk home with groceries from Freshplace, our innovative fresh food and case management food pantry. We rely 100 percent on community support to run Freshplace, and often don’t have extra funds to purchase things like this. Oliver is truly a role model and has a very generous heart –  one that will impact many lives.”

Avery is a Global Studies Diploma Program student and his commitment to service-learning has also included a three-year commitment to Watkinson’s Dominican Republic Service Team, said Jenni French, director of communications at Watkinson School.

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