Scout makes parade float fit for a queen

By Rick Palsgrove
Administrator Editor

Photo courtesy of Lisa Turney
Matthew Turney checks on the progress of the Queens’ new parade float he is working on as his Eagle Scout project.

The royalty of the Miss Canal Winchester Pageant will have a renovated float to ride on for the upcoming Labor Day parade.

Matthew Turney of Boy Scout Troop 103 is working on refurbishing the wagon as his Eagle Scout project.

“The coordinator of the Miss Canal Winchester Pageant is Melanie Boise,” said Lisa Turney, Matthew’s mother and assistant scoutmaster for Troop 103. “She was Matthew’s teacher in elementary school. And he knows a few girls who have been in the Queen’s Court over the years.’

Lisa said no one knows for sure how old the Queen’s float is.

“It was moved to a larger trailer and the top shelf was added about six years ago,” Lisa said. “The Miss Canal Winchester Pageant uses it for the CW Labor Day Parade and many other parades throughout the year.”

She said three other scouts and eight adults helped Matthew with the project.

When asked how long they have been working on the car and when it is expected to be completed, Lisa replied: “Matthew first met Mrs. Boise in January. The float was used for the Memorial Day parade in Lithopolis. Some detail work still needs to be done and lights need to be added. We expect this to be completed soon.”

The old float needed a lot of work.

“The float suffered severe water damage,” Lisa said. “The entire exterior had to be removed and replaced, as well as part of the supporting structure for the lower two seating levels. The front rail was lowered for visibility. All handrails have been rebuilt higher for appearance and safety. The upper level was hinged to make it low enough to fit in a garage for future storage. And the whole thing will be sealed with waterproof paint to make it more weatherproof.”

Matthew faced many challenges during the project. He had to network with various companies to obtain donations of supplies to keep costs down. He also had to learn to manage a team of mostly adults with conflicting availability and different ideas about how to improve the float.

When asked how much it would cost to renovate the float and how the project is being funded, Lisa said: “The Miss Canal Winchester Pageant held two fundraisers. Matthew had plans for a third, but he was able to get so many supplies donated that the third was not needed. The parade held a Valentine’s Ball in February and a craft show at the Spring Market in April.

The total cost of the supplies will be well over $1,000, but the cost of the parade should be less than $300.”

Several business partners contributed to the project, including: Nat Floyd of Bounce Up Ohio, who provided time, labor, supplies and construction expertise; Tom Obert of Joe Dirt provided an indoor space to work, as well as time, labor, tools, parts and paint; 84 Lumber donated all the wood; and The Paul Peterson Company donated additional supplies.
Look out for the renovated float during the Canal Winchester Labor Day Parade. It will truly be fit for a queen!