By Debra J. Groom
People entering Hannibal now have a beautiful welcome awaiting them, thanks to a local teen.
Nate LaRock built a sign welcoming people to his hometown as his Eagle Scout project. The sign is 8 feet tall, 6 feet wide and states “Welcome to Hannibal – Home of the Warriors.”
He came up with the sign idea when pondering what to do for his Eagle Scout project.
“We really didn’t have much to notify people that they were in Hannibal,” LaRock said.
Along the way, LaRock not only learned about woodworking and sign building, but also a bit about government operations.
He first wanted to put his sign at the intersection of Route 3 and 104 – the most visible and traveled intersection in town.
“But I found out it would take a lot of paperwork and permits,” he said. He discussed his idea with Hannibal Town Supervisor Ronald Greenleaf, who helped him with the town issues he had to deal with concerning the sign.
The sign now rests on Route 3 in front of Freedom Real Estate near the IGA market.
LaRock, 16, a sophomore at Hannibal High School, got some help with the project from neighbor Ted Pittsley, who runs Oswego Valley Millworks. LaRock said he needed some expert advice on working with wood and how to mold a bunch of 2X4s into a beautiful sign.
He also received a donation of $200 of paint from Sherwin Williams paint company and he applied for an incentive card from Lowe’s Home Improvement Store to help obtain the bricks that surround the sign base.
He said the governmental red tape was the biggest surprise to his project. “There were barriers I had to work out and it took planning and paperwork,” he said.
LaRock, who also participates in cross country at Hannibal High and takes karate, began in scouting as a Cub Scout and has been a Boy Scout for about six years.
He still has a couple of merit badges to earn before he will go before the Eagle Board to see if he will achieve his Eagle Scout award. That will probably happen this fall.