VAN ALSTYNE — Van Alstyne High School Junior Rick Mustard recently completed work on an Eagle Project for the Van Alstyne Senior Center, getting him one step closer to achieving his Eagle Rank.

As Mustard began looking for an Eagle Scout Project, he decided he wanted to do something for the Van Alstyne Senior Center and was able to get a contact name through his neighbor’s mother. He reached out to Joyce White, the Director of Activities, and it was determined that some new book shelves for the center would be the perfect project, as the center only had two small shelves and more books than the shelves could hold.

Mustard went by the center and saw how great the need was, determining to build and install two large shelves which would provide plenty of extra space for the center’s growing book collection. He worked with his father to design shelves that would be six feet tall by six feet wide and one foot deep, with a larger shelf in the top space to hold games or decorative items in addition to the books.

Part of the Eagle Project process is to submit a proposal with accompanying paperwork, including design ideas, estimated expenses and a method for fundraising, as well as the plan for building the project involving other scouts and leaders. The regional Scout council must then approve the project or provide feedback before the work can actually begin. This process usually takes a while, so while he was working through the plans, Mustard would stop in at the Senior Center to keep Mrs. White apprised of his progress. She encouraged him to take his time, knowing that he was fitting this in between school, work and auto racing, in which Mustard is heavily involved.

Mustard got his paperwork turned in and received approval for his project plans in February, then set a date for the Troop to gather at his garage to build the shelves. He sought additional input from Mrs. White, who said she preferred a dark color for the shelves, so Mustard selected a rich chocolate brown to paint the shelves. The Troop met and completed most of the building and painting work in one weekend, then gathered again to deliver and install the shelves at the Senior Center on Saturday, Feb. 24.

Sharon Brazel, Board President for the Senior Center, is very pleased with how the project turned out, and especially appreciated the inter-generational aspect of it. “These young men are tomorrow’s leaders, and it was great to see them joining together with our seniors — community leaders of the past — and making such wonderful connections that benefit all of us,” she said.