Wrong Number. Right Project!

By Ellen S. Mommaerts

Director, Norbertine Volunteer Community

Ellen Mommaerts (left) and Bryce Watzka
Ellen Mommaerts (left) and Bryce Watzka

I entered my office one morning and saw the voicemail light blinking. The message went like this from the caller: “Hi Carol, I am calling because I was given your number and was told you could help my son find an Eagle Scout project. Please call me back when you have time.”

My reaction was one of confusion because I am not Carol and I did not know the person who had referred the caller to Carol. I took a chance and called the inquirer back, and left a voicemail that clarified that I am Ellen—director of the Norbertine Volunteer Community (NVC) and coordinator of the Three Corners Neighborhood Community Garden.

I told him that I had a specific idea for a project to build a garden storage shed at the garden location. Thus was born another Eagle Scout project and a partnership with Bryce Watzka—Eagle Scout candidate for Troop 1236 of St. Bernard Parish and 2017 graduate of Notre Dame de la Baie Academy in Green Bay.

The Watzka family has had a Norbertine connection through Prémontré High School, Notre Dame de la Baie Academy, and St. Norbert College (SNC) for generations. This accidental project added another Norbertine connection. To my surprise, one of the volunteers that day was Evan Watzka, now entering his sophomore year at SNC, who had come to the NVC residence as a volunteer his first year at SNC during the college’s annual “Into the Streets” community service event, proving the world is a small place.

I worked with Bryce, his dad Kelly, and uncle Scott on the planning, and with Bryce’s extended family, fellow troop members, and friends. We volunteered by fundraising and executing the construction of the storage shed just days shy of Bryce’s 18th birthday and leaving home to begin his college career.

I pray in gratitude … I know [this project] will benefit our community garden efforts well into the future.

—Ellen Mommaerts

NVC Garden ShedThe final result of the $1,032 project is a great storage building on the garden site, allowing us to remove all of the garden tools, hoses, tomato cages, watering cans, and other necessary items from the NVC house garage.

Thank you to the City of Green Bay Neighborhood and Inspection Divisions for their support of the project and for issuing the building permit that made the construction possible. I pray in gratitude to Bryce and his dad Kelly, in getting this project accomplished efficiently. I know it will benefit our community garden efforts well into the future.

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For more information about the Norbertine Volunteer Community, contact nvc@norbertines.org.

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