EMERSON, N.J. — A $12,000 donation from the Emerson Police Department on Monday afternoon puts Boy Scout Franklin Praschil,15, closer to his goal of constructing a memory garden in the borough for his Eagle Scout Project.
Praschil got inspiration for his project while mourning the loss of his grandmother in March. The Emerson Memory Garden — expected to be complete in the spring — will honor community members who have passed away (SEE: Emerson Police Donate $12K To Boy Scout Building Memory Garden ).
“This has been a huge group effort,” said Police Sgt. Joseph Alasio who spearheaded the fundraising efforts along with Detective Ryan Sokerka.
The scout presented his plans for the garden during a June council meeting and has been selling engraved bricks to commemorate the lives of loved ones in the community.
Working with Praschil was a "natural fit" for Sokerka. He and Alasio will make a donation to Memorial Sloan Kettering with the remaining funds they've raised in honor of former EPD Capt. David Hayes.
The police department was mourning the loss of Hayes to pancreatic cancer while Praschil was doing the same for his grandmother.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen one particular group give that kind of donation," said Roberta Hanlon, the Westwood Board of Education Vice President. "This is ideal. As a non-Emerson resident, I’m jealous. This is what we like to see."
"Franklin has the purest of intentions," Alasio said. "This is a testament of what we should be working on. I’m proud of him."
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.