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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Boy Scout thanks Holman Gardens with gift of a bench

Eagle Scout candidate Josh Stauffer built a bench for the residents of Holman Gardens for his Eagle Scout project. He did as a way of thanking them for all the flowers they purchased for him, so that he could go to Scout camp.  (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
By Cindy Hval For The Spokesman-Review

Residents of Holman Gardens have a new place to sit a spell thanks to a gift from Eagle Scout candidate Josh Stauffer. On Feb. 4, he and a few fellow Scouts delivered a bench he’d made to the facility.

Stauffer, 17, a Spokane Valley Tech student, said when the time came to pick his project the retirement facility was No. 1 on his list. Holman Gardens and its residents have supported his scouting career by purchasing fundraising flowers.

“Over the past three to four years, I was able to go to a lot of Scout camps because they purchased poinsettias and hanging baskets,” Stauffer said.

He’d joined the Scouts in first grade and was quickly enamored.

“I was a curious kid and loved anything outdoors,” he said.

One Cub Scout memory left a lasting impression.

“A ranger came and brought a wolf with him,” he said. “It was the coolest thing I’d ever seen!”

In fact, Stauffer said his dream job would be to work in animal conservation.

When he was 11, skills he learned in Scouts helped save his mother’s life.

“I came home from work and had a cardiac arrest,” Maria Stauffer said. “I walked in the door and died. I was clinically dead for 25 minutes.”

Josh ran to get his dad, who called 911.

“I was getting ready for my Scout meeting,” Stauffer said. “I’d learned about CPR, but hadn’t been certified. I could tell my father wasn’t doing it right, so I stepped in because I knew how to place your hands.”

His mother fully recovered.

In addition to CPR, Stauffer said he’s learned many useful things through the program including basic skills like cooking and he’s enjoying learning about citizenship and leadership.

When he was younger, he assumed becoming an Eagle Scout was mandatory.

“I thought it was something you were supposed to do,” he said. “Around seventh or eighth grade I learned it wasn’t a requirement.”

Last year, the member of Troop 464 realized he was close to attaining Eagle Scout and decided to focus on it. A service project is one of the requirements, so Stauffer reached out to Holman Gardens’ administrator Linda Hubble.

“I told her I’d like to build a bench,” Stauffer said.

They discussed where it might be most useful and then the Scout got to work.

“I’m no woodworker, but my dad had a friend in Colville with a woodshop,” he said. “I went up there every weekend in December.”

He crafted the bench from blue pine, using donations he’d gathered to pay for the cost.

When the bench was almost complete, they moved it to Spokane Valley to do the finish work, adding legs and a plaque that reads “Joshua Stauffer, Eagle Scout Project, 2023.”

They’d originally thought to place the bench outdoors, but when Hubble saw the photos, she said it was too nice to sit out in the weather.

“It ended up next to the office near the elevators,” Stauffer said. “There were lots of smiles and they liked it.”

He’s pleased he found a way to say thank you.

“Their help paved the way for a lot of the scouting skills I learned and I’m eternally grateful,” he said. “Giving back to this community meant so much to me.”

“It’s a beautiful bench,” Hubble said. “The residents are really enjoying it.”