It was a passion for all things theater that drove junior, Andrew Ernat to choose his Eagle Scout project this past summer. Andrew took on the ambitious project of replacing Montini's existing wooden stage extension, located in the school's auditorium, with a sturdier, more modular design.
The charitable project was part of Andrew's Eagle Scout Service Project which provides an opportunity for a Boy Scout to demonstrate leadership of others while performing a project for the benefit of his community. Andrew has been in the Boy Scouts for a little over five years and is a member of Lombard's Troop 202. "As part of Montini Theater and Set Crew, I knew firsthand that the old stage extension was in need of repairing," said Andrew. "I immediately knew that this was what I wanted to do for my Eagle Scout Project."
Each year Montini showcases four musical concerts in addition to two theatrical productions in their auditorium. The current stage extension was designed to be modular and movable to better adapt to a variety of performance as well as academic needs.
"First, I had to create a "project proposal" explaining my idea as well as the details," explained Andrew. "Then, I had to get signatures from Mr. (Jim) Segredo (President at Montini Catholic) and two Scout Leaders. Finally, I needed to get district approval." "We use our auditorium and stage for many, many occasions throughout the school year and even during the summer with our Summer Theater Camp," said Mr. Segredo. "We are honored that Andrew chose to help revive our stage extension and are thankful to all of those helping him with this project."
A graduate of Sacred Heart School in Lombard, Andrew, requested help on his project from Montini friends, felllow scouts and drama club members and their parents. "My family also helped with the project," he noted. Sister, Rebecca '13, brother Matthew '16 and sister Sarah, who will be joining Montini's student body next year, were all very happy to be able to help their brother carry out his plans for the stage.
The crew enlisted the help of carpenter, Tom D'Alessandro, a St. Pius X Parish member. D'Alessandro has worked on stage props for previous productions at Montini through St. Genesius Theater Group. "Montini graduate Steve Santay '07 (from Downers Grove) was also ready and willing to lend a hand." Santay was very involved with the arts during his years at Montini.
"My parents (Donald and Christine Ernat) have definitely been instrumental in my project. They helped me with countless things, anywhere from driving me around, providing lunch for all the helpers and helping with the construction."
Andrew also finds time to help his fellow scouts on their Eagle Scout projects as well. " I have gone to almost all of my Troop's Eagle Projects, which have included restoring prairie areas, building park benches, and collecting toiletries and gifts for our troops overseas." His advice for future scouts working toward their Eagle Scout Projects, "Enjoy it, but don't procrastinate!"
Andrew is quite involved as a student at Montini. "My teachers, coaches, and parents have taught me how to lead people, how to set goals, and how to achieve them," he said. He is a member of Montini's Theater and Set Crew as well as a member of the French Club, the Math Team, the Accafellas singing group and the Tennis Team. With all of these activities on the front burner, he admits that he is relieved that the stage project is complete. "It is nice to have some free time again."
"Montini is honored that Andrew chose to help us with our stage for his Eagle Scout project," said President Segredo. "He is an inspiration to us all. He saw a need and had the passion to come up with a solution and to see it through!"