QUINCY -- For Wil Wells, his Eagle Scout project will always be remembered as a labor of love.
Wells, a 15-year-old sophomore at Quincy High School, designed, raised funding for, and built -- with the assistance of family and friends -- a 6-foot tall, 368-foot long fence that assists with the care dogs at Homeward Bound Waggin', an all-volunteer animal rescue and transport organization headquartered at 1800 N. 24th.
Wells' project, which was dedicated Sunday afternoon, was done in memory of his late grandmother, Constance Sue Schaffer, who also was his childhood best friend.
"I'll always remember her smile and kindness," Wells said. "She also taught me a lot about the hard work ethic."
Wells and other family members have been longtime volunteers at Homeward Bound Waggin'. His project will help ensure each dog at the facility receives a minimum of 30 minutes twice daily to be out in the open, running and playing. That kind of regular exercise helps the dogs' overall physical and emotional well-being.
"Where there's a Wil, there's a way," said Jeffrey Wells, Wil's dad and also an Eagle scout.
Jeffrey Wells said his son has been involved in scouting since the second grade and is extremely proud of Wil's determination, planning and execution of the project.
"He also had a lot of help from his friends and (others)," Jeffrey Wells said.
The project took about six months to come to fruition, including planning and fundraising. Wil Wells said he used most of his free time since early in the year to see the project to conclusion.
"I saw a need for newer and higher fencing," Wells said.
Wells said about 342 hours were needed to install the fencing, which is 2 feet higher than the barrier it replaced. The new fencing also allows the Homeward Bound Waggin' yard to be divided in half, permitting more dogs to be loose at the same time and allowing them more time out of their kennels.
Wells also was able to present Homeward Bound Waggin' officials a surplus of $1,950 from funding collected to cover project costs. That money will be used for various kennel needs.
Jeffrey Wells said his son began talking about a project to help Homeward Bound Waggin' about five years ago. Those conversations eventually led to Sunday's finished project.
"This means a lot to me," Wil Wells said.