Rogers Scholar Grant Oakes and Lonnie Lawson, President and CEO of The Center for Rural Development

2018 Rogers Scholar and Pulaski County High School student Grant Oakes donated one of the benches he made from recycled bottle caps to The Center for Rural Development.

Through his Rogers Scholars “Bottle Caps for Benches” community service project, Grant collected approximately 800 pounds of discarded plastic bottle caps and used the recycled materials to make seven environmentally friendly benches in memory of 12-year-old Science Hill student Hunter Denney-Wesley, who lost his life in a tragic house fire in 2019.

“To me, this project was a way to create a memorial to Hunter and his life,” Oakes said. “What makes it even more special is the fact that so many people in the community played a role in making the project possible by saving caps and donating money to construct the benches.”

In addition to The Center for Rural Development, benches were donated to Science Hill School, First Christian Church, Hunter’s family, and a local teacher.

“The completion of Grant’s project will produce a lasting memorial to Hunter,” said Science Hill teacher Peggy Sewell.

Grant is the son of Rodney and Christy Oakes.