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Air Force attacks museum with full force

August 29, 2012
By J.T. Whitehouse , Town Crier

Ten members of the Civil Air Patrol's Youngstown ARS Composite Squadron showed up at the War Veteran Museum in Canfield on Thursday, Aug. 23 to give a complete overhaul of the gardens surrounding the 1806 structure. The young volunteers weeded, replanted and mulched the grounds and gave the museum a new, well-cared-for look.

"I've been to the museum a couple times," said Cadet Master Sgt. Emily Conroy. "I wanted to help beautify it to show respect for our veterans."

Conroy, a senior at Canfield High School and a member of the Civil Air Patrol ARS Composite Squadron, was well aware of the overgrown and unattended gardens at the museum. She visited many times to see her brother and father, Joe Conroy Jr. and Joe Conroy Sr., who are both members of the railroad club that runs the model train display in the basement.

Article Photos

Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Civil Air Patrol cadets Emily Conroy of Canfield, and Megan and Sean Beatty of Austintown, turn a jungle into a paradise on Thursday, Aug. 23 as they reworked the gardens at the War Veteran Museum on East Main Street.

Realizing that restoring the gardens was a monumental task, she knew it would take a lot of hands to make it happen, This year gave her an opportunity as a senior member of the CHS National Honor Society. Part of the requirements for NHS is to take on a community service project.

Conroy decided she wanted to take the task on and she knew just where to get the extra hands she needed. She asked the members of her Civil Air Patrol squadron to help and nine signed up.

"I had my fellow cadets behind me and was ready to go, all I needed was some materials," Conroy said.

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She visited some local businesses and got the donations she needed. Home Depot in Austintown, donated trash bags and landscape matting and Elliott's Landscaping in Boardman, donated four yards of red mulch.

Realizing that her small army of cadets may get hungry, she was able to get food donations from Cocca's Pizza in Canfield and from the Canfield Dunkin' Donuts.

All was in place and ready to go when the cadets showed up last Thursday. Within an hour, several trash bags were filled with weeds and overgrowth taken from the gardens. The matting was laid down to prevent the weeds from coming back and the mulch was placed after several plants were replanted.

By 3 p.m., the front and west side of the museum were completed and the crew was wrapping up in the rear of the museum.

"It looks like it will take a second day," Conroy said.

She said she would stay with the project and see it through. As for museum staff, they liked what they saw.

"They did a good job," said museum founder President Lew Speece. "The gardens look great."



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