Friends carry on Lower Burrell Scout Cornuet's work toward Eagle badge after his death
In nearly every corner of the grounds at Puckety United Presbyterian Church in Lower Burrell on Saturday, there were groups of people hard at work finishing Noah Cornuet's ambitious Eagle Scout project.
Cornuet, 16, a Burrell High School sophomore, died on Aug. 6 during football practice of a rare non-cancerous heart tumor.
“It shows the support Noah had, for people to come out and do this after he passed,” said Melvin Peck, scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 180, to which Cornuet belonged for about five years.
Cornuet had completed several aspects of the project at the church in Lower Burrell, including replacing all the mulch around the church and in the playground. He had set two military headstones in the cemetery and made an inlaid cross in the front of the Lower Burrell church.
About 70 friends, family, community members and Boy Scout troop members joined forces to complete all of the other improvements that Cornuet had planned.
Groups removed weeds and grass that had sprouted in various sections of the parking lot, while others repainted the 17 handicapped spaces and parking lines.
Beside the church hall, others built a ramp into a wooden shed, while several Boy Scouts and one of Cornuet's former teammates worked on painting the structure.
About a quarter-mile from the church, another group was at the cemetery using a backhoe and shovels to remove 26 cemented-in white posts that line the boundary between the road and the cemetery.
Noah's parents, Ray and Pam Cornuet, said they were happy to see so many people.
“We're very excited that they came out,” Pam Cornuet said.
Many of those helping out said they wanted to honor Noah's memory and continue his tradition of helping people.
“He liked to help other people out, and this is a way to give back to him,” said Andrew Riggatir, 16, a member of Troop 180.
Mike Russo, 17, a Burrell senior, said he wanted to be there for the family of his friend and baseball and football teammate.
“It's been a tragic loss,” he said. “The Cornuets are good people, and I wanted to do anything I could to help out.”
Peck said he expects Cornuet will receive his Eagle Scout award posthumously on Wednesday. The review board is set to meet that evening, and Peck and Boy Scouts who worked on Cornuet's project will be there to answer questions about it.
Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or [email protected].