Shrewsbury – In a gesture of goodwill, the Boy Scouts of Troop 114 donated $1,250 to the Save Our Steeple (SOS) Fund of the First Congregational Church of Shrewsbury (FCC) during the church's June 10 worship service.
The present FCC building has been a landmark of distinction in the town since 1766.? A structural engineering evaluation in 2011 revealed that some beams, the roof of the clock tower, and the railings and ornamentation in the belfry need to be replaced or repaired. The renovations, costing over $200,000, must be completed no later than the fall of 2012 to prevent structural failures and further damage. The Stewardship Committee of the church has initiated an emergency fund drive to repair the rotting beams and water damage to the steeple and parts of the foundation.
While member donations have been generous, raising over $106,000 to date, the church has broadened its appeal to the Shrewsbury and wider community. Troop 114 answered the call, pledging the proceeds of their June 9 bottle-and-can drive to the SOS Fund. The bottle drive broke troop records, involving the efforts of 42 scouts, leaders and parents who spent over 250 man-hours planning and promoting the drive and collecting, sorting and bagging over 25,000 bottles and cans.
FCC and Troop 114 have a long history, dating back to 1918 when the church was established as the chartered organization to sponsor the newly formed Boy Scout troop. Over the years, thousands of boys have met with their fellow Scouts in the basement of the church. Of these, 107 have received the rank of Eagle Scout.
Scoutmaster Rick Spurr presented the large check.
“We are very pleased to present the church with this donation as a token of our sincere appreciation for your support these past 94 years,” Spurr said, “and are proud to be able to help preserve this important part of Shrewsbury's history.”
Receiving the donation, SOS Co-chair Paul Dobner thanked the Scouts for their generosity in contributing toward the restoration.
Members of the community who would like to help to save the steeple and clock tower may make a donation of any size to the SOS Fund of the First Congregational Church of Shrewsbury, 19 Church Road, Shrewsbury, MA? 01545.