Theo Mann, 17, builds picnic tables

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Although not necessarily required, community service has always been an integral part of being a Granville resident.

With his bare hands and a passionate heart towards an idea bigger than himself, Theo Mann, 17, of Granville recently built four wooden picnic tables with donated resources for the Mettawee Park in the Village of Granville.

Mann’s efforts were fueled by his attempts to seek the rank of Eagle Scout through the Granville Boy Scouts. After filing the necessary paperwork, Mann will likely reach that crowning achievement.

“I was getting old enough to the point where I needed to do an Eagle project,” Mann said. “It gives you the sense of ‘I did something’.”

Mann said his project of four eight-foot tables took around 50-and-a-half hours to complete.

From left to right: Brieanna Garner,Emily Garner, Theo Mann and Lisa garner all smile and appreciate Mann’s hard work paying off.

In attendance were Mann’s grandmother, Emily Garner, his mother Lisa Garner, his sister Brieanna Garner, Village Department of Public Works superintendent Scott Mackey, DPW workers Josh Hayes, Tom Beebe, and Matt Bushman and village mayor Paul Labas.

“It’s a fantastic project and I can’t believe how well they all came out,” Labas said. “I just want to thank him from the bottom of my heart for the residents of the village of Granville that use this park so much.”

When asked what it meant to have a teenager from Granville who has spent countless days swimming and fishing in the Mettawee River give back to his own community, Labas said:

Mayor Paul Labas and Theo Mann shake hands in Mettawee Park.

“To have somebody to do this from their heart, to take the time and the energy and everything to do something as kind and generous to give back to your community, is huge. Volunteers are tough to come by no matter where you go, but if I could have a dozen volunteers like Theo, it would be a blessing for this town, there’s no doubt about it.”

Mann looks forward to the opportunity of coming back to Mettawee Park in future years and telling the next generation he built the seat they’re on.

“With these tables, hopefully in a few years, I can come back and tell kids or whoever, “‘hey, I built those!’” Mann said.

From left to right: Scott Hayes, Tom Beebe, Theo Mann, Matt Bushman and Scott Mackey pose by one of Mann’s tables on top of the DPW-laid concrete pad.

Labas said he’s excited for future developments at Mettawee Park coming soon including the addition of expanded parking, more access points for kayaks and more barbecue grills and trees.

The DPW workers helped a bit too in the process, laying down concrete pads with anchor hooks so the tables stay in-place. Mackey was admiring Mann’s finished products that are sealed and pressure-treated.

“He did all the work, man,” Mackey said. “That’s some nice craftsmanship.”