Benefiting memory care residents at Health Central Park in Winter Garden

by Rajan Sambandam

I successfully completed my Eagle Scout project, “Forget Me Not Park,” at Health Central Park in Winter Garden. My project’s goal was to create a peaceful haven for memory care residents and their families, driven by my personal connection to dementia through my great grandmother’s experience.

To cover the $2,300 project cost, I devoted my summer to fundraising. I managed to raise $1,800 in cash and received $802 worth of tools and supplies from local businesses like Lowes and Ace Hardware; and West Orange Observer for covering my project in the July 6th newspaper edition. The generosity and support from the community and local businesses’ was truly heartening.

On August 5, 2023, I, along with nine scout volunteers, three registered adult BSA scout volunteers, and several youth and adult members, invested a total of 212 hours in the project. I organized the teams to work simultaneously on clearing the garden area, planting flowers, and constructing a bench. The last-minute assistance and guidance from Ex Fire Chief Mr. Matt McGrew was invaluable.

This project allowed me to develop essential leadership qualities, emphasizing planning, communication, perseverance, and preparedness. I adjusted my plan based on feedback from Mr. Dobski at Health Central Park, Mrs. Vanderlay and Mrs. Beck Lynch from Bloom and Grow, and Mr. Matt McGrew, Ex Fire Chief of Winter Garden.

A deeply touching moment during the project was the meeting with 94-year-old Ray Rolland, the first African American Eagle Scout, and a resident at Health Central Park. His kind words and blessing for my project were truly special.

I want to express my gratitude to key leaders, including my scoutmaster Mr. Brian Smith, Mr. Matt McGrew, Mrs. Kay Vanderlay, Mrs. Becky Lynch, and Mr. Dobski. This project is a testament to the power of teamwork, as reflected in John Maxwell’s saying, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” I believe my initiative will bring comfort and joy to the memory care residents at Health Central Park.