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Boy Scout Reaches Fundraising Goal for Stetson Dog Park

A local Boy Scout presented Stetson University with a check for $2,100 on Monday and celebrated reaching his fundraising goal to build a dog park for the pet-friendly campus.

Corey Sipe and Al Allen hold a big check while seated on a park bench and a small crowd stands behind them.

Corey Sipe, seated on the bench, right, presents the check for $2,100 to Al Allen, Stetson associate vice president of Facilities Management. Also involved in creating the dog park were, left to right, Dave Rigsby, Stetson manager of Grounds, in yellow shirt; grounds tech Eric Michaud; crew leader Joe Belkey; Gary Sipe, Corey’s father, in red shirt; and back row, left to right, crew leader John Mossow; grounds tech Eric Graves; grounds maintenance worker Tom Hogan; grounds tech George Winegard II; and irrigation tech Greg Selman. Not shown is Grounds Supervisor Justin Dees, who also helped with the park.

Corey Sipe, a DeLand High School freshman, spent several months last year planning the construction and receiving approval for the dog park off East Michigan Avenue, west of Maxcy Hall in University Village Apartments (UVA).

The 14-year-old led the effort for his service project to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. He joined with Stetson officials and volunteers last August to create the fenced park, which measures 50 feet by 150 feet.

Then came the hard work of raising $2,100 to repay Stetson for the materials, including $500 for mulch, $850 for fencing, $250 for fence screening and $500 for miscellaneous items, such as concrete, signs and bench repairs.

scenic shot of dog park

The dog park, above, was completed before classes began at Stetson last August.

Corey solicited donations from individuals and businesses, ran a social media campaign for a GoFundMe page and sold locally made Mr. P’s Beef Jerky. All told, the fundraising took four to six months, slightly longer than he expected.

“It’s been a wonderful initiative by Corey and then he stayed with it, which is even more impressive,” said Al Allen, Stetson’s associate vice president of Facilities Management. “With Dr. Wendy Libby’s initiative to make this a pet-friendly campus, it’s necessary to have a safe place like this.

“It’s a nice spot. It is peaceful in here and it looks like they very much are using it,” Allen added.

Corey Sipe stands in his Boy Scout uniform in the nice and new dog park with landscaping.

Corey Sipe, shown in the dog park last August, led the effort as his service project to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.

Corey said he sometimes stops by and has heard plenty of positive comments about the dog park. His father, Gary Sipe, is a Stetson alumnus, an Eagle Scout and director of Web Services in the University’s Marketing Office.

“A lot of people use it and like it,” said Corey, a Boy Scout with Troop 599 in DeLand. “A lot of people are happy that it’s here.”