After Mayor Pat Anderson delivered a proclamation to soon-to-be Eagle Scout Carl Smith, Councilwoman Carol Rios stepped down from the dais to play honorary photographer, snapping photos of Smith and his family posing proudly with Anderson.
The City of Oakley honors Eagle Scout recipients on a regular basis, but Smith’s story, like the council photo-op, is different as well. As a Boy Scout of Troop 93, Smith earned 36 badges when only 21 are required for Eagle Scout promotion. Smith, a senior at Liberty High School, also decided to make his community service project, a requirement to achieve Eagle status, a personal mission to honor one of his best friends, Tyler Toal.
“Tyler Toal was a friend of mine who had passed away in an accident, and the student body felt he needed to memorialized,” Smith said at the council meeting. “So I had the idea of making a bench for him at the center of our quad.”
Smith came up with the design for the bench and had it specially ordered, using money garnered during a car wash fundraiser at Liberty last summer. The cardinal-colored bench, inscribed with the message “In Loving Memory of Tyler Toal,” was installed at Liberty last November.
Toal died Feb. 4, 2009 in an ATV accident. He was known for passion for extreme sports including dirt biking, snowboarding, wakeboarding and wake surfing. He was only 16.
Smith said that he and his friends sit at the memorial bench every day at lunch unless it’s raining.
“It’s a great part of Liberty High School and it’s always going to be there,” Smith said.
Anderson applauded Smith for his tribute to his friend, saying that it was a wonderful way to honor Toal’s memory.
Smith will officially achieve his Eagle Scout status during a special court of honor held on Sunday, April 11 at Brentwood’s Veterans Hall.