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).
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