Missoula Boy Scout helps non-profit build handicap accessible ramp


MISSOULA, Mont. - One Missoula Boy Scout is earning his Eagle Scout title by giving up a few of his weekends to help a non-profit.

13-year old Connor D'Angelo saw there was a need for a disability ramp at United Way of Missoula; the group moved into their new location on Alder Street a year and a half ago, but didn't have the funds to build the handicapped-access ramp.

D'Angelo worked with United Way organizers to get donations and supplies.  He says building the ramp will not only earn him his Eagle Scout title but it helps others in the community.

"It makes me feel better that people can't walk up the stairs can finally get into the building so I'm helping people out and I think that's pretty good," says D'Angelo.  "I have had some other scouts help me these weekends so it's been a group effort."

Susan Hay Patrick, chief executive officer for United Way of Missoula, says the handicap accessibility ramp is something United Way leaders have been dreaming of since they moved to the new location. 

"We should be accessible to the entire community," Patrick says.  "It's an expensive undertaking because you don't just slap one up on the side of a building that's on the National Register of Historic Places so we had to go through the Historic Preservation Commission." 

Patrick wants to thank several different businesses and groups around Missoula for helping with the project: John Wells with MMW Architects who designed the ramp pro bono, Scariono Construction for their time spent on the project, tools and expertise, Connor D'Angelo for thinking of this project and finally Boyce Lumber for donating the majority of the material used to build the ramp.   

D'Angelo tells us he and his Boy Scout comrades hope to have the handicap accessible ramp finished by next Sunday.

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