HOWELL – A 16-year-old Howell Life Scout has dedicated his Eagle Scout project to his mother, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2016.
Boy Scout Troop 300’s Joseph Martino is a current Life Scout who is working on his Eagle Scout project. Titled “Project Hope,” it will be benefitting Mary’s Place by the Sea, a respite home for women who are receiving treatment for cancer.
What inspired Martino to choose this project was because of his mother, who was battling cancer and had visited Mary’s Place by the Sea in Ocean Grove.
“In spring of 2016, my mother was diagnosed with Stage II – colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer worldwide. My mother, after undergoing six months of chemotherapy, felt lost and distressed. In search of a way to surmount these feelings, my mother was introduced to Mary’s Place by the Sea in Ocean Grove,” Martino said. “Reluctant at first, my mother booked a respite weekend just prior to her life changing surgeries at the home where women with cancer heal their mind, body and souls, Mary’s Place by the Sea. Upon return to our family, my mother appeared to have gained enormous courage, strength and resilience from her stay and to date is cancer free. Mary’s Place by the Sea is a godsend and has inspired me and my whole family to want to pay it forward for others to continue to reap the benefits of this wonderful, nonprofit organization.”
Martino plans to raise funds to build a grotto where visitors of Mary’s Place can relax and find peace.
“The entire volunteer team at Mary’s Place provide services that are designed to support and empower women with cancer and complement the medical treatment being received while providing an alternative healthy and holistic approach to their healing,” Martino said. “My project is to create and install a beautifully crafted Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto where guests can encounter a quiet and peaceful place for rest, prayer and meditation. The grotto will be permanently placed carefully upon a freshly laid set of designer paver blocks on the front lawn of Mary’s Place by the Sea in the center of their rose garden.”
Due to the ongoing pandemic, Martino couldn’t rely on traditional fundraising methods, so he created a GoFundMe page to collect funds for his Eagle Scout Project Hope. Donations will be used to purchase materials which includes the 36” Statute of Our Lady of Lourdes, paver installation materials, adhesive, paver sand base and tools.
Martino’s goal was to raise $1,000 to complete his project, and he successfully raised almost double his initial goal. He expressed that any amount of cash raised in excess of my Eagle Project costs are donated directly to Mary’s Place by the Sea.
“Thank you all that have forwarded my message and most importantly thank you to all that have donated to my project,” Martino said. “This will make it possible to also get some landscaping lights so that I may be able to have the grotto lit for evening viewing.”
On April 18, Martino was joined by his fellow Troop 300 Scouts and scout parents to help assist with his project at Mary’s Place. This first visit, Martino was able to dig out and lay the pavers down. Martino plans on visiting a second time to finish the project.
If you would like to support Martino and donate to Mary’s Place by the Sea, visit the GoFundMe Page at gofundme.com/f/joseph-martinos-eagle-project-for-marys-place.