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Way to Go!: Daniel Leach, Central Islip

Daniel Leach spearheaded the creation of a military

Daniel Leach spearheaded the creation of a military installation at Central Islip Community Park. Photo Credit: The Knox School

A Central Islip teenager used his Eagle Scout project as an opportunity to honor those who have served the country.

Daniel Leach, a senior at The Knox School in St. James who is in Boy Scout Troop 277, spearheaded the creation of a permanent military installation in Central Islip Community Park that features the American flag and flags of the five military branches. Dozens of community members and local officials attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony last month.

To fund the project, Leach raised nearly $3,000 through the crowdfunding platform GoFundMe. He subsequently hired CJ Flag & Son in Lindenhurst to handle the poles’ installation and received an anonymous donation of cement, and manpower assistance from fellow Scouts in his troop.

“We wanted to do something for military veterans and something to benefit my community,” said Leach, 17, noting that his father, James, served 27 years in the Air Force.

To spread the word about his fundraising efforts, Leach hung fliers in local stores and public buildings. He was joined during the ceremony by David Ehrhardt, a Central Islip teacher who was the town’s last Eagle Scout 29 years ago, Leach said.

Leach is captain of his school’s rowing team and STEAM Club, performing arts representative for Student Council, and a member of the Knox Beekeeping Society.

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