Giving Back

Eagle Scout Refurbishes Yorktown Gazebo; Repairs Wheelchair Ramp

Eagle Scout Christopher Chan, center, shows the elevation between the wheelchair ramp and the gazebo. He is flanked by Councilman Vishnu Patel, left, and Veterans of Foreign Wars member Tom Brady.
Christopher Chan, holding plaque, is joined at his Eagle Scout ceremony by Veterans of Foreign Wars member Tom Brady, far left, and Councilman Vishnu Patel, far right.
The wheelchair ramp at the gazebo is now fully functional thanks to Eagle Scout Christopher Chan.

YORKTOWN, N.Y. – The gazebo at Jack DeVito Veterans Memorial Field, home to many town ceremonies and concerts, has once again been refurbished by a Yorktown Eagle Scout.

Christopher Chan of Boy Scouts of America Troop 238, based out of Shrub Oak, said there was graffiti; mismatched paint that was chipping away; and a wheelchair ramp that did not work. Chan said he was alerted to the gazebo's poor condition by Yorktown Councilman Vishnu Patel, who, along with  Tom Brady, member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8328, sponsored the Eagle Scout Service Project.

“I knew this would be a good project for me because it would be helping people, and I wanted to choose a project that would affect many people,” Chan said. “This gazebo is heavily used. Kids hang out there all the time, people can use it for shade and a rest after running the track, there are small concerts there, as well as Memorial Day Parade ceremonies.”

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Chan said his top priority was repairing the wheelchair ramp, which did not properly align with the gazebo, leaving a slight elevation.

“If someone with a wheelchair tried using it, they would have fallen and gotten seriously injured,” Chan said.

The gazebo was built by about 65 volunteers between March and July of 1994, according to Aldo Capellini, a former Lions Club member who helped organize the construction two decades ago. The Lions maintained the gazebo for 10 years, before turning over the responsibilities to the town of Yorktown.

In addition to wear and tear from weather and frequent use, the gazebo has also been subject to much vandalism over the years.

Two years ago, Ned Kleinschmidt, another Troop 238 member, renovated the gazebo for his Eagle Scout Service Project. Chan, who assisted Kleinschmidt that time, said he will return to the gazebo to make sure it stays in good condition.

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