LIVINGSTON, NJ — Jayson Melhorn, a longtime member of Livingston Boy Scouts Troop 12, was honored during Monday’s Livingston Township Council for the success of his Eagle Scout project, which was to provide much-needed Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to be placed at one of the township’s popular sports complexes.

It was December 2017 when Melhorn and his father realized that the Brendan Tevlin Memorial Fields at Okner Parkway did not have an AED. Noting that this could end up costing a life, Melhorn made a goal to raise funds for two AEDs for the fields in order to fulfill the requirement of all aspiring Eagle Scouts to organize and conduct a project that will benefit their community.

Little did he know, Melhorn’s efforts would ultimately exceed expectations due to the “overwhelming support from the Livingston community,” he said on Monday.  

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After advertised the need for items to use for a garage sale benefitting his project, Melhorn had a 150-square-foot storage unit, a side porch and a garage stocked by June 2019. The event was held at Livingston’s Knights of Columbus, whose members were happy to allow Melhorn to use the space on June 15.

With the help of his fellow Boy Scouts and other friends, who also helped him transport the items for the garage sale, Melhorn was able to raise enough to purchase two AEDs.

In order to purchase the AEDs, the funds raised were provided to the Horowitz Heart Fund, another local organization that was happy to collaborate with Melhorn on this project.

At the earlier suggestion of Livingston Police Officer Paul Lenzi, Melhorn contacted Jane Horwitz of the Horwitz Heart Fund for her help, and she “joyfully accepted” this request by donating a third AED to the cause.

“The Horwitz Heart Fund of Livingston is always willing to help and willing to donate,” said Horwitz, who attended Monday’s ceremony along with Lenzi. “[Melhorn] worked very hard and the entire community should grateful to him and proud of him. Hopefully these defibrillators will never ever be used; however, if they’re ever need, because of Jayson and his hard work and the rest of the scouts, these defibrillators will be available, accessible and ready to use.”

Lenzi added that there are now 35 AED units within the township and that Melhorn’s efforts will help replace some of the older ones while also providing much-needed units for the Okner Parkway fields.

Mayor Al Anthony and members of the township council congratulated and thanked Melhorn as he officially presented the defibrillators to the township.