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Eagle Scout and Troop 1210 build cat towers to adorn “catios” at Blue Bell Foundation for Cats

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Fifteen-year-old Eagle Scout Ethan Jeong was searching for a nonprofit to benefit from his Eagle Scout project, which he decided would somehow be associated with cats – because of his cat Boppy.

Jeong, a freshman at Crean Lutheran High School, is a life scout and Senior Patrol Leader of Troop 1210, which is based in Rancho Santa Margarita. 

“I looked around on the internet for nonprofit organizations that benefit cats and happened to find Blue Bell Foundation,” says Jeong. “Blue Bell Foundation for Cats is a nonprofit organization that gives permanent care to older cats whose owners are no longer able to care for them.” 

Eagle Scout troop

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(L-R) Noah Fong, Austin Beckett, Ethan Jeong, Eric Pitterle, and Diego Ibarra – all scouts from Troop 1210 who built the cat towers

Boy Scouts has a ranked advancement system, with Eagle as the highest rank. 

“In order to achieve the Eagle rank, one must lead a service project among other things,” says Jeong. “When I reached the Life rank, which is the second-highest rank, I decided to have my Eagle Project be something related to cats because I really love my cat, Boppy. I adopted Boppy right before I turned six. Boppy is very laid back and sociable; he enjoys the company of other people.” 

Eagle Scout Boppy

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Ethan with his mother, father, and Boppy 

Once he decided on his project, Jeong researched his recipient.

After a tour of the cat paradise, Jeong says, “I instantly knew Blue Bell is the one I would go for. After talking to Mr. and Mrs. Hamil, I found out that the catios were in need of towers that helped the cats get onto catwalks that lined the walls of the catios.”

“Ethan listened to our needs and concerns and gave us a completed project that the cats enjoyed immediately,” says Susan Hamil, chairperson, Blue Bell Foundation. 

“For my project, I led Troop 1210 to build five Kuranda-style cat towers out of PVC pipes and special tarps,” Jeong explains. “These towers are light and easy to move around, tall enough to allow the cats to reach the catwalks, and washable.” 

Eagle Scout cats

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Blue Bell cats enjoying their towers – Ethan and his mother 

Jeong continues, “The path to getting high quality, complete cat towers to Blue Bell was quite rough because of the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic made it difficult for me to gather scouts together in one place to build the towers, but after more than a year of preparing and waiting, we finally were able to carry out the project with twelve people over two days.” 

On Saturday, Jeong delivered the five cat towers – that he and the troop built – to Blue Bell, and the cats couldn’t be happier with the final result.

“We are always so grateful when young people choose us as the recipient of their projects,” says Susan. “Ethan has worked with us all through COVID to bring his project to fruition.”

The Blue Bell Foundation for Cats offers loving and compassionate lifetime care for senior cats whose owners can no longer care for them. Blue Bell promises total peace of mind for cat owners and homelike, personalized care for the cats entrusted to them.

The Blue Bell Foundation for Cats is located at 20982 Laguna Canyon Rd.

For more information, go to www.bluebellcats.org.

 

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In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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