Written By COA St. John’s County
St. Augustine, Florida, October 24, 2023 – As a young child, Cooper Alfiero accompanied his mom, Toni, to volunteer at Council on Aging’s Coastal Community Senior Center in St. Augustine. As he grew, he returned with members of his St. Augustine Boy Scout Troop 345 to volunteer at COA. These experiences left a lasting impression, and when the time came for Cooper to pursue his Eagle Scout designation with the Boy Scouts, he decided his goal would be to make a positive difference in the lives of our community’s seniors.
“A few years back, my troop and I spent the day doing outdoor clean-up work at COA,” he explained. “We ate lunch on the deck in the south parking lot and I noticed it was in need of repair. I decided to keep it in mind for a future project.”
Fast forward to this year, when Cooper, now a student at St. Augustine High School, became eligible to pursue his Eagle Scout designation. He returned to COA and began creating a plan to repair and renovate the outdoor deck. He consulted with his Boy Scout advisors, and met with COA facilities manager Ray Franklin for help selecting the color for the finished project. He solicited material support from the community, and received donations from White’s Lumber & Supply and discounts at Lowe’s to help with the project costs.
Finally, Cooper assembled a multi-generational team to help him with the project. His team included his girlfriend, Emma, friends from school, and fellow Boy Scouts and advisors. They were joined by Cooper’s grandfather, Brian Alfiero, who taught them how to repair the deck boards, and Cooper’s great-grandfather, Joe Alfiero, who helped transport supplies. Together, they replaced all of the rotten boards on the ramp and the deck, cleaned and repainted, and power-washed the surrounding concrete slab. As a final touch, they cleaned out the surrounding brush, and installed new landscaping and flowers to beautify the area.
“I’m really thankful for all the help I received from the community to take on this renovation project,” Cooper said. “I hope it will bring happiness to the seniors and staff at Council on Aging.”
Now that the project is complete, Cooper looks forward to submitting his Eagle Scout application. After high school, he plans to attend college to study musical theater and political science.
Cooper’s mom, Toni Alfiero, served as an intern at COA during her senior year at Flagler College. It inspired her to share the experience of serving seniors with Cooper when he was young.
“I’m super proud of him,” Toni shared. “He’s been doing Scouts for so long. I was really glad he chose COA.”
COA Executive Director Becky Yanni commended Cooper on his service:
“It is so heartwarming to see young people in our community give of their time and energy to improve the lives of older adults,” she said. “Every day, Council on Aging relies on the caring of people like Cooper and his friends. The deck is beautiful and comfortable now, thanks to Cooper’s vision and his team’s hard work. We are so grateful and proud of their contribution!”
To learn more about the many programs and services Council on Aging offers for older adults in St. Johns County, visit their website at www.coasjc.org or call (904) 209-3700. For information on how you can support COA’s work in the community, please visit www.coasjc.org/get-involved.