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Boy Scout Bringing Memory Garden To Emerson With Help From Police

Emerson Boy Scout Franklin Praschil proudly wears his uniform.
Emerson Boy Scout Franklin Praschil proudly wears his uniform. Photo Credit: Elizabeth Praschil
Emerson Police Officers Joe Alasio, left, and Ryan Sokerka raised $5,000 selling t-shirts to benefit the Emerson Memory Garden at ShopRite on Oct. 11.
Emerson Police Officers Joe Alasio, left, and Ryan Sokerka raised $5,000 selling t-shirts to benefit the Emerson Memory Garden at ShopRite on Oct. 11. Photo Credit: Emerson Memory Garden Facebook
Praschil's rendering of the Emerson Memory Garden.
Praschil's rendering of the Emerson Memory Garden. Photo Credit: Elizabeth Praschil
Praschil holds the rendering of the Emerson Memory Garden with Emerson Police Chief Donald Rossi, second from left, and other Emerson police officers.
Praschil holds the rendering of the Emerson Memory Garden with Emerson Police Chief Donald Rossi, second from left, and other Emerson police officers. Photo Credit: Emerson Memory Garden Facebook
Franklin Praschil spoke with GFWC Woman's Club of Emerson members about the Emerson Memory Garden.
Franklin Praschil spoke with GFWC Woman's Club of Emerson members about the Emerson Memory Garden. Photo Credit: Emerson Memory Garden Facebook
Franklin Praschil, 15, hopes the grass beneath him will soon be replaced by the Emerson Memory Garden.
Franklin Praschil, 15, hopes the grass beneath him will soon be replaced by the Emerson Memory Garden. Photo Credit: Elizabeth Praschil
Praschil accepts a donation from Liberty Subaru for the Emerson Memory Garden.
Praschil accepts a donation from Liberty Subaru for the Emerson Memory Garden. Photo Credit: Emerson Memory Garden Facebook
Mint Dental's Dr. Shah donated to Praschil's Eagle Scout project.
Mint Dental's Dr. Shah donated to Praschil's Eagle Scout project. Photo Credit: Emerson Memory Garden Facebook

EMERSON, N.J. — A 15-year-old Emerson Boy Scout is getting help bringing a memory garden to the borough library from his local police force.

The Emerson Memory Garden — which Franklin Praschil said was inspired by the loss of his grandmother in March — will honor community members who have passed away.

He's hoping it's completed by April 2016.

Praschil was reaching out to family, friends and community members for support when he heard from borough police.

"We want to make this project exactly what Franklin's vision is for the Emerson Residents," Officer Joseph Alasio told Daily Voice.

"That’s important to us as a police department," Alasio said, "to always focus on how we can help benefit a community, and this a great opportunity to do that.”

The EPD also was mourning the loss of former Capt. David Hayes to prostate cancer at the same time Praschil was grieving for his grandmother, he noted.

Praschil's project is the perfect opportunity to remember Hayes and help the community achieve a greater cause, he said.

"We wanted to do something in Capt. Hayes memory," Alasio said. "We found a great opportunity to do so embodied by Franklin's Eagle Scout Project."

Alasio and Officer Ryan Sokerka last week raised $5,000 selling tee-shirts.

Emerson police officers next month will chip in some of their funds for growing beards for the "No-Shave November" awareness campaign. The rest will go to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Praschil presented his plans for the garden during a June council meeting and has been selling 8x4 and 8x8-inch bricks that community members can have engraved with their loved ones' names.

"Everyone is sort of working together to make the community a much better place," Praschil said. "There's no way I could do this all by myself."

The EPD asks anyone who purchases a tee-shirt to tweet photos to @emersonpolice ( CLICK HERE for shirts).

CLICK HERE for the Emerson Memory Garden Facebook page or email Franklin Praschil at emersongarden@aol.com for more information.

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