VANCLEAVE, Miss. (WLOX) - Vancleave now has a new welcome sign, and it’s all thanks to a coast Boy Scout.
If you take a drive on Highway 57 heading north toward Vancleave, you may notice a new sign welcoming residents and visitors to the city.
“I wanted something that everybody could see every day,” said Avery Higginbotham.
It’s the brainchild of 17-year-old Avery Higginbotham. He’s been a scout of Boy Scout Troop 228 for 11 years. He came up with the idea for this sign for his service project to become an Eagle Scout - the highest rank in Boy Scouts.
“When I was driving around with mom trying to figure out something one day, we passed the Pascagoula welcome sign and said ‘man, that looks really nice.’ She said yeah, it’d be nice if Vancleave had one of those. And I looked at her, yes it would. That’s how the idea started.”
The idea took several months to become reality.
First, Higginbotham collected donations from the community, and then he worked with Ocean Springs sign maker Gulf Graphics to make the sign. He and his fellow scouts installed the sign earlier this month.
Higginbotham says he’s glad he could bring some recognition to the city.
“I wanted to do something that was more than just for a church or just a minor thing that only a few people in the community would see. I wanted to create something that all of Vancleave would be able to see for 20, 30 years from now,” he said.
The project has earned the praise of his scoutmaster.
“This is a great accomplishment and I’m very proud that Avery was able to complete it and it shows a lot of dedication not only to him in the community but also to the troop,” said Sean Murphy, scoutmaster for troop 228.
Higginbotham is glad to complete this portion of his Eagle Scout journey.
“Feels good to have a big thing lifted off my shoulders. I’m able to relax and see it everyday, knowing that I did something that’s really nice, that I could see,” he said.
Senator Jeremy England donated a new state flag to fly above the sign.
Higginbotham dedicated the sign to his grandparents George Robert and Jackie Taylor.