The Village of Bradford was recently honored at a reception in Springfield as a Governor’s Hometown Award for volunteerism. The award was the result of an Eagle Scout project by Nate Horrie to replace the community sign board. This is the third time Bradford has received such an honor. In 1987 they received the award for benches on Main Street and in 2001 for their After School program.
Senator Darren LaHood reminded the Village board to apply for the award. From there they filled out an application and made a presentation to the committee and were eventually notified that they were one of the recipients. Traveling to Springfield to accept the honor and presentation, were Steve Horrie, Adam Wilson, village president, Scout Nate Horrie, Dawn Dove, Bradford Police Chief, and Joanne Holman, village clerk.
Taken from the 2011 Awards Reception Program Booklet
For more than two decades, a message board stood at the corner of Main and Peoria Street in Bradford. Installed by the Village and faithfully updated by the ladies of Beta Sigma Phi, the sign has served the community well, announcing upcoming events in the area. But time and the weather have taken their toll. The cabinet was bent and worn, the plexiglass was hard to see through, and the message board was all but impossible to see from the road.
The project to replace the sign was initiated by Nate Horrie in his quest to become an Eagle Scout. Originally, the idea was to simply replace the magnetic sign with an LED message board using the existing cabinet. It was decided that the west side of the brick wall would be dedicated to Veterans and the east side to all other community members.
In the end, Bradford area citizens helped Nate to raise over $9,100 for a project that ended up costing just over $9,600, leaving the Village to pay out just under $500. But more impressive than the financial support, was the interest that was taken by the community. Over 100 Veterans’ names are engraved in the wall and helped fund it. Volunteers took out the old message board and prepared the site. The foundation was dug by volunteers and a concrete contractor volunteered to make the foundation forms and assist on the day the concrete was poured. A retired brick mason offered his services free-of-charge to lay the bricks. Boy Scouts and Scout leaders volunteered to help mix the mortar, carry bricks, dig the electrical trench, spread fill dirt, sow grass seed, set the limestone cap, and install the LED sign. An electrician volunteered his services to run the electricity to the sign and make the connection.
The new sign displays the time, temperature, date and messages that can easily be seen from the road. But the real message in Bradford is “we are proud of our town!”