For the past two years, a Baldwinsville teenager has been working tirelessly to restore a historic mural that sits in the middle of the village. After a long fundraising campaign and approval process, that mural is nearing completion. Our Candace Hopkins tells us more about Emily Ekross and her project.
BALDWINSVILLE, N.Y. -- "I pass it every day on the school bus, and for the longest time I passed it, and for awhile it was in really good shape, and then it just started deteriorating,” said Emily Ekross.
Back in 2011 this historic mural at the corner of West Genessee and Oswego Streets in Baldwinsville caught Emily Ekross' eye. It was painted in 1987, and was starting to fade. She decided restoring it would be a great way to give back to her community, while finishing out her time as a Girl Scout.
"I decided that it needed to be fixed up, it needed more color, because a lot of people didn't even know there was a mural there, they didn't notice it, and it was really sad, because it's a huge part of our history," said Ekross.
Emily needed a project to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award, and thought the mural would be perfect. The Gold Award is the highest achievement a Girl Scout can earn. It took Emily the past two years to get approval to paint the mural, and to raise the eight thousand dollars needed to do it. That's where the community stepped in to help, with several businesses and residents making donations.
"It's been great to get to know people and make connections, and I got to know a lot of people on the village board, and I just branched out and made a lot of friends that I'm going to have," said Ekross.
Emily's redesign includes some of the mural's previous features, and some new sights from Baldwinville's past and present. She says she couldn't have done it without the help of her family and friends, especially her grandfather and mother, who have dedicated countless hours to the project.
"She impressed a lot of people, and because of the overwhelming support for her project, I'm very pleased, I couldn't ask for anything better," said Emily's Mother, Michelle Ekross.
Emily's goal is to finish the mural by August, as a way to leave her final mark on the village before she heads to college in Buffalo. Anyone who would like to help out with the mural is invited to finish the painting with the Ekross family. For more information, visit the Baldwinsville 4 Corners Mural Project on Facebook.