Eagle Scout project lighting up hospital
Stephanie Johnson (left) and Andy McCabe (second from left)of AEP Ohio presented a check to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio recently for the work of Dublin Boy Scout Daniel Schmeling (second from right) and members of Troop 117 to make the Columbus location energy efficient. Also pictured is Ryan Wilkins of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. Buy This Photo
The Columbus Ronald McDonald House will notice the fruit of Daniel Schmeling's labor on monthly bills.
To earn his Eagle Scout rank, the Dublin Boy Scout replaced 1,000 incandescent light bulbs in the 80,000-square-foot complex with more energy-efficient bulbs.
A few family friends are on the Ronald McDonald House board and directed Schmeling to community relations and marketing director Ryan Wilkins.
"We worked together to come up with the project and set up the Ronald McDonald House on an energy efficient pathway," Schmeling said. "I wanted to switch out all the incandescent light bulbs in the building ... and put in new CSL energy-efficient light bulbs across the 80,000-sqaure-foot complex."
Getting energy-efficient light bulbs donated for the project served to be one of the more challenging tasks in the project that ran from April to August.
"A lot of the behind-the-scenes and working with big companies could be difficult," Schmeling said. "AEP stepped in and helped."
After Schmeling got the light bulbs, he recruited others from Troop 117, based at St. Brigid of Kildare.
"I got 20 to 25 other guys together from the troop and went in Aug. 11," he said. "We went in and took out the light bulbs and replaced those with energy efficient ones. One of the great things about it is they are saving $1,000 per year by switching those light bulbs out. For a nonprofit like Ronald McDonald House, being able to save that money is great. It can go back to be reinvested in families that go there."
Schmeling joined the Cub Scouts around age 6 and said achieving Eagle Scout status has always been in the back of his mind.
"It was never a huge focus, but as I got older and am finishing high school, I knew if I wanted to do this now is the time," the St. Charles senior said. "I was able to do that along with school work, working and sports."
Although his project didn't have many physical aspects to it such as building like other Eagle Scout projects, Schmeling said he was happy to get the Columbus Ronald McDonald House on the way to energy efficiency.
"I was able to get 1,000 light bulbs donated," he said.
"It's not inexpensive. It was a very generous gift and the greatest part of the project was the fact that this is money they saved that can go back into the families down there that are dealing with kids who are very sick," he said.
"I wanted to somehow directly or indirectly help these families."
Because of the energy efficient light bulbs the Columbus Ronald McDonald House is expected to see a savings on its electricity bill and recently received a $676 check from AEP Ohio for reducing its energy demand.