Scout makes parade float fit for a queen

By Rick Palsgrove
Managing Editor

Photo courtesy of Lisa Turney
Matthew Turney checks the progress on the new queens’ parade float he is working on as his Eagle Scout project.

The royalty of the Miss Canal Winchester Pageant will have a refurbished float to ride on for the upcoming Labor Day parade.

Matthew Turney of Boy Scout Troop 103 is working to fix up the float as his Eagle Scout project.

“The coordinator of the Miss Canal Winchester Pageant is Melanie Boise,” said Lisa Turney, who is Matthew’s mother and assistant scoutmaster for Troop 103. “She was Matthew’s teacher in elementary school. And he has known a few girls who have been in the Queen’s Court over the years.”

Lisa said no one is sure how old the queen’s float is.

“It was moved on to a larger trailer and the top shelf added about six years ago,” said Lisa. “The Miss Canal Winchester pageant does use it for the CW Labor Day parade as well as numerous other parades all year long.”

She said three other scouts and eight adults have helped Matthew on the project.

When asked how long have they been working on the float and when is it expected to be completed, Lisa said, “Matthew first met with Mrs. Boise in January. The float was used for the Memorial Day parade in Lithopolis. It still needs some detail work and lights added. We expect to be done soon.”

The old float needed a lot of work.

“The float took severe water damage,” said Lisa. “The entire outside had to be removed and replaced as well as part of the support structure for the bottom two seating levels. The front rail was lowered for visibility. All of the hand rails were rebuilt higher for look and safety. The top level was hinged to make it low enough to fit in a garage for future storage. And the entire thing will be sealed with water proof paint to make it more weather resistant.”

Matthew faced a lot of challenges on the project. He had to network with several businesses to obtain donations of supplies to keep the costs down. He also had to learn to manage a team of mostly adults with conflicting availability and different ideas of how to improve the float.

When asked how much it cost to refurbish the float and how the project is being funded, Lisa said, “The Miss Canal Winchester Pageant held two fundraisers. Matthew had plans for a third, but he was able to get enough supplies donated that the third was not needed. The pageant held a Valentine’s Ball in February and hosted a Spring Market craft show in April.

The total cost of the supplies will be over $1,000 but the cost to the pageant should be less than $300.”

Several business partners contributed to the project including: Nat Floyd from Bounce Up Ohio which provided time, labor, supplies and construction expertise; Tom Obert of Joe Dirt provided an indoor space to work as well as time, labor, tools, parts, and paint; 84 Lumber donated all of the wood; and The Paul Peterson Company donated additional supplies.
Watch for the refurbished float in the Canal Winchester Labor Day parade. It will truly be fit for a queen!

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