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Eagle Scout raised money for Comair memorial

posted Aug 30, 2008, 10:15 AM by Boy Scout Troop 856   [ updated Aug 30, 2008, 10:16 AM by Boy Scout Troop 856 ]

A granite fountain with carvings of 49 doves in flight has been dedicated in Richmond, Ky., as a memorial to those who died two years ago this week in the crash of Comair Flight 5191 in Lexington.

The fountain, an Eagle Scout project of 17-year-old Brian Huybers of Richmond, is believed to be the first memorial erected to victims of the crash, six of whom either lived in Madison County or had close ties.

They were Carole Bizzack, Brian Byrd, Lynda McKee, Cecile Moscoe, Judy Rains and Victoria Washington.

"When I saw the crash on TV it didn't really hit me, until I saw all the blue buses full of family members," Brian said.

After learning from a Scout leader that Mayor Connie Lawson hoped to erect a memorial to the local victims, Huybers adopted it as his Eagle Scout project.

With guidance from Richmond city manager David Evans -- and volunteer assistance from Russell Sitter, whose Lexington firm "The Fountaineer" designs fountains around the world -- Brian's project was completed in time for the memorial's dedication in Richmond's Lake Reba Park last week.

"This young man was going to community groups and churches and raising money the hard way," said Sitter, himself a former Boy Scout. "You see, he didn't have a connection to the victims, except that he wanted to do something for his community. That kind of selflessness exemplifies what Boy Scouts are about."

Sitter, who designs work for sculptors and who donated most of his work on the 8-foot-tall, 3,000-pound memorial, said he had seen dove images used in several dedications after the crash and that doves seemed a fitting symbol for the fountain.

"The 49 doves carved in granite are all going in different directions … partly because all the people on that plane were going to so many different final destinations," he said. "The only thing that they had in common was that event."

Water cascades over the doves from the top of the tan granite column, set on a base that is being finished in matching granite facia, inset with personal dedication plaques. The walkway around the fountain forms a Celtic cross and is bordered by a garden with benches.

"Brian did a lot of fundraising for the memorial, but we realized that he would not be able to raise the total cost, so we knew that the city would be committed to making up the difference," said Evans. "There are some donations still coming in."

Brian said reaction has been positive from families of those for whom the memorial was created.