MEMORIAL DAY weekend will be an extraordinary time for Dennis Kast Jr., 14, and his family.
At 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Dennis will become an Eagle Scout. The Court of Honor ceremony will be held in the Big G auditorium at Springfield Hospital Center in Sykesville.
Betty Jean Maus, Springfield's director of volunteer services, was happy to have the event at the center because of work undertaken there by Dennis as part of his Eagle Scout requirements.
To demonstrate his leadership ability, Dennis was project manager for the renovation of the nondenominational chapel on the Springfield grounds.
"The chapel hadn't had any major work done to it since it was built in 1980, due to lack of funding, and because the hospital has such a small maintenance crew - only four men," Dennis said.
He felt his project would be of great benefit because the chapel means so much to patients.
Dennis faced the task of convincing the hospital that he was capable, at age 13, of raising funds, pulling together a team of volunteers and supervising the work.
With the help of his parents, Jeanie and Dennis Kast Sr., Dennis drafted and executed his plan. He met with hospital center staff to ensure the project would be approved. He gave a speech to the Knights of Columbus in Randallstown seeking funds for the project. The organization contributed $500.
He also wrote letters to home improvement stores, including Lowe's and Ace Hardware, requesting donations. He made phone calls to recruit volunteers and set up a schedule to complete the work during four Saturdays in August.
The project included painting all interior walls, repairing and restoring pews and the altar, installing a chair rail, repairing gutters and drain spouts, fixing railings and exterior trim, and making repairs to the chapel foundation.
Every aspect of the project was documented and photographed by Dennis, including the work performed by 23 volunteer Scouts and adults.
"I was very skeptical when Dennis approached me," said Maus, reflecting on the decision to allow Dennis to do the work.
"I was afraid he had bitten off more than he could chew, but he came through with flying colors. He was only 13 at the time, a very young age to achieve the Eagle Scout level," she added.
A plaque hangs in the chapel honoring Dennis for his achievement. Dennis is a member of Troop 970 in Randallstown, chartered by Holy Family Church on Liberty Road. His troop leader is F. Joseph Perozsiello, and his father is an assistant troop leader.
Dancers to perform
Carroll County Dance Center will present two performances of "And Then There Was Rhythm," "Les Sylphides," and "A Western Symphony" at 8:30 p.m. June 9 and 3:30 p.m. June 10 at the Peggy and Yale Gordon Center for the Performing Arts on Gwynbrook Avenue in Owings Mills.
Carroll County Dance Center is directed by Sandra Woods, who trained with the Washington Ballet. She danced professionally in Europe for several years before opening the center 11 years ago.
Her students are mostly from Carroll County, but include dancers from Frederick, Baltimore, Harford, Prince George's and Montgomery counties and Pennsylvania.
The program, featuring a cast of 98 students ranging from age 10 to adult, includes classical ballet, vignettes from the American West and a history of rhythm from the 1900s to the present.
Solo performers include Jennifer Horner, 16; Andrew Johnson, 16; Heather Clopein, 16; Jessica Blank, 20; and Kristin Cullison, 16.
Tickets are $7.50, and can be ordered by calling Carroll County Dance Center at 410-795-3255. The center is on Main Street in Sykesville.
Fund-raiser for four
A fund-raiser will be held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. June 16 at Sykesville Volunteer Fire Hall on Route 32 for David and Heather Dewan, who are expecting quadruplets.
The babies are due any time, according to family members.
The evening will feature dinner, door prizes, silent auctions and raffles. A disc jockey will provide music for dancing.
The cost is $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Donations will be accepted.
Information: Carrie Thompson, 410-875-2276, Bill Dewan, 410-876-1265, or online at www.TheQuadSquad.org.
Debra Taylor Young's Southeast neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.