PARIS WEST – In 2020, Cooper Libby of South Paris Scout Troop 130 was looking for places to log in to volunteer hours. The now seventh-grade student has had his own mowing business for five years, but was also looking to do community service.
At the same time, a Purple Heart recipient who is a regular at Daddy O’s in Oxford mentioned to co-owner Aaron Oulette that he was looking to hire someone to do some gardening work at his house, asking if he knew anyone. a. Oulette said he would investigate the matter, then put his client in touch with Cooper’s parents, Corey Libby and Katie McAllister, all from Norway, who then contacted veteran Frank.
“I’ve taken Cooper a few times and he (Frank) was so wonderful,” McAllister said. “He asked how much Cooper wanted to be paid and Cooper didn’t tell him, that he was volunteering. He was adamant he was going to pay him, but he finally accepted that (Cooper) just wanted to volunteer.
McAllister said she and Cooper visited Frank three times to do some yard work, spending more than six hours with him. The two opened up about Cooper being a Boy Scout and the injuries the veteran suffered. Frank showed Cooper his lawn tractor and weeder, which Cooper used to clear the brush that grew around the stumps on Frank’s property.
“I remember he said the state [Veteran’s Administration] I didn’t really want him to do all of that, ”Cooper said of why Frank needed help.
When Oulette was informed of the help received by his client, he posted it on Daddy O’s Facebook page (facebook.com/daddyosoxford/posts/10157193555902121) to thank Cooper for his community service.
This post quickly went viral with 1,300 likes, nearly 200 comments and over 300 shares. One of the actions caught the attention of Diane Jack, secretary of Auxiliary Station 151 of the Ring McKeen Legion of Paris-Ouest, and continued to spread further.
Jack received a call from the chairman of the American Legion’s Auxiliary Children and Youth Committee in Maine in Augusta saying that Cooper’s service should be counted toward a hero and good deed youth award.
Jack had already obtained and completed the application on his behalf.
“Cooper owns a small business,” Jack wrote on the app. “A restaurant called Daddy O’s asked for help for a Purple Heart recipient. Cooper came to the rescue to help this veteran and did it for nothing. What a great story! Real young people know what it means to do something with the heart.
With the closure of federal administrative offices by the pandemic, it took over a year for Jack to receive Cooper’s certificate. But in October, she had the prize in hand and reached out to Libby and McAllister (again through Daddy O’s) to let them know their son had received a national honor.
“We were blown away by the response to the photo posted on Daddy O’s Facebook page,” McAllister said. “Hundreds of messages and people shared the post and it went viral. “
Last Tuesday afternoon, Jack and the President of Auxiliary Station 151 of the West Paris Legion, Dorene Wilbur, met with the McAllister / Libby family at Oxford Hills Middle School to present Cooper with his Auxiliary Certificate of the American Legion and a letter of congratulations.
Cooper had no idea he would receive such a distinguished award that day, even though he suspected something was going on with Boy Scouts.
“He had to get dressed,” Libby said with a laugh. “So he knew he wasn’t in trouble.
“There were 250 national awards given in 2020,” said Jack. “One went to Cooper. He was one of five children in Maine to have one.
With the help of his parents, Cooper continues his quest for community service around the Oxford Hills. Since this good deed in August 2020, he has been accepted into an online community service program, The 50 Yard Challenge (weareraisingmen.com/the-50-yard-challenge/). The challenge forces the boys and girls to volunteer mow the lawn (or other yard work) for 50 people who would need a little help.
McAllister said they had to try several times before Cooper could join the 50-Yard Challenge, which is sponsored by the non-profit Raising Men Lawn Care Service.
After presenting Cooper with his award, Jack and Wilbur confirmed to Cooper that they wanted to provide him with two of the 50 yards needed for his challenge and would arrange for him to aid him at American Legion Station 151 in the west of Paris for a credit as well. .
No local elections, ballot referendums around Oxford Hills