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    Tons of fundraising, paperwork, physical labor and more went into the reflection area that surrounds a recently-acquired statue at St. Lawrence O’Toole Church.

    For his Eagle Scout Project, Joe Perucci dedicated his time and energy to making that happen. The 18-year-old Southeast resident, a member of Boy Scout Troop 1, chose to create a walkway around the Lady of Guadalupe statue, which sits in the church’s cemetery and is meant to honor the unborn. Perucci installed a granite bench, laid down mulch and planted flowers in the surrounding area.

    Elected leaders, including State Sen. Greg Ball (R, C — Patterson) and Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, honored Perucci during a ceremony this weekend, during which time he received his official rank patch.

    After starting his career as a scout in elementary school, Perucci said one of the reasons he decided to go for the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout was because “so few people achieve.”

    While he is pleased about his accomplishment, Perucci felt a bit uncomfortable receiving so much attention.

    “I’m proud of it, but I don’t like to brag,” he told Patch, recalling the ceremony.

    Perucci graduated from Kennedy Catholic High School in June. He’s headed to Salisbury University in Mayland for his freshman year of college.

    “Joseph is a great leader that we can all be proud of,” Ball said. “I look forward to great things from him in the future.”

    During the ceremony, Perucci touched on some of his favorite memories, which included a seven-day camping trip to an island in the Florida Keys, as a scout. (ARTICLE)