Tanner Bowman has been thinking about what his Eagle Scout project would be ever since he became a Boy Scout.
Now a freshman at Brown County High School, Bowman has chosen a cause and needs the community’s help to make it happen.
He intends to raise the wall at the Brown County Sheriff’s Department’s shooting range by 3 feet. The project will cost about $2,000.
Bowman has managed to raise $600 since he started fundraising in January. The money will cover the cost of purchasing 6-by-6 timbers to raise the wall, rebar to tie it together, and snacks for people who come out to help him.
“Some people who have donated money, they say, ‘Let me know the dates. I want to come out and help. I will donate my physical time and labor to help out this cause because this is just a great cause,’” he said.
The project idea began last July when Bowman watched a news story about a Boy Scout in Indianapolis who had started a GoFundMe account. That Scout’s project was to raise money for bulletproof vests for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
“I loved that idea, but at $2,500 a bulletproof vest … with a community as small as ours and for one project, that’s a lot to do. I wanted to think of something that would be a little more closer to home, smaller in scale, but would still have the same impact,” he said.
He asked Sheriff Scott Southerland what would be the most helpful project for his department, and Southerland said they’d been looking at making improvements at the shooting range on Lucas Hollow Road to make it safer. With the low cost involved, the sheriff thought that would be a good match for Bowman.
“It should give him a good sense of accomplishment, because it is the kind of work where he will be able to visually see the improvements when finished,” the sheriff said.
Bowman said raising the wall was to add extra security for the deputies as they practice firing rounds.
“A good majority of them would go into the current dirt wall, but there’s the occasional one or two that would ricochet and he (Southerland) said you could hear it go off into the branches,” Bowman said.
“One or two, it’s in the middle of nowhere, it’s not that bad, but still you want it to be completely covered 100 percent, so I am just adding that little bit of safety and extra security to it.”
Bowman said he hopes his project helps to build morale in the sheriff’s department and the community.
“With what’s been going on in the last few years, if you’ve been watching the news, police have been getting a lot of bad raps. I have a huge respect for law enforcement,” Bowman said.
With this project, “not only does it affect the sheriff’s department, but it affects the entire community, because by helping their ability to shoot and know that they’re covered there, (they know) that the community has their back.”
To donate to Tanner Bowman’s Eagle Scout project, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call his mother, Robyn, at 317-431-6346. Monetary donations also can be sent to 4146 Webber Hill Road, Trafalgar, IN 46181.