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Eagle project: A home run

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Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

Calvin Prenkert, Staff Writer

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The Dominican Republic runs on baseball. The sport is considered the pastime of the nation, as it greatly benefits the economy. However, not all Dominicans have the resources (like money for bats and balls) to play baseball and have to miss out on enjoying the game. With this in mind, Junior Austin Willis knew just what he wanted to do when he began his Eagle Scout Service Project last year.

Willis is a member of Troop 120 of the Bloomington Boy Scouts. Members of the Boy Scouts work to earn a variety of badges that demonstrate each scout’s advancement in knowledge and life skills. Once a scout has obtained 21 merit badges, he completes a large service project to rise to the highest status of Eagle Scout.

Willis decided that for his Eagle Project he would send baseball gear, such as bats, balls, and gloves to children in the Dominican Republic.

“I wanted to see how my project could help others elsewhere.I know there are lots of people in Bloomington who need help too, but I wanted to give back on a broader scale,” Willis said.

To carry out the project, Willis  organized donation drives at South and around the community, which resulted in an overwhelming success.The challenge then became finding a way to transport these supplies to the Dominican Republic. However, with the help of Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, Willis was not only able to send the gear but also to personally deliver it to the kids.

“It was really cool to see the kids happy and playing a game they’re passionate about,” Willis said.

Willis poses with some of the baseball gear. Photo courtesy of Austin Willis
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Eagle project: A home run