PEPPERELL -- Joe Recco touched many people in his short life. His legs won championships while running cross country for North Middlesex Regional High School, where his voice echoed across the bleachers as broadcaster for sporting events. His generosity was borne of his involvement in Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, where he was a eucharistic minister.
But the proudest accomplishment for Recco, who was also a karate black belt and a film student at Syracuse University, was the earning of Eagle Scout from the Nashoba Valley Council.
At age 21, Recco died in July 2015 of leukemia but chips of him still linger throughout the town he loved. And the town may etch in stone their love of him and of the successful boys and girls Scouting program that he emerged from.
After a unanimous vote by the Board of Selectmen Aug. 27, a movement is now afoot to install a permanent monument to Boy Scouts and to the local Eagle who helped them soar.
"The vote was only to study the feasibility of such a monument," Selectwoman Lisa Ferolito said. "It was not an official vote to approve the project. There are a lot of variables in play and several departments in town that we need to consult with." she cited DPW, parks and recreation, sewer and conservation commissions among the entities with an interest in the plan.
The preliminary plan calls for a two-sided stone monument to be erected in the town rotary. One side will read simply "Joseph Recco.
On the reverse will be a commemorative verse of gratitude toward the scouts and their myriad contributions to the community. "There is only one monument to Scouting in all of Massachusetts," said Michael Recco, Joe's father. "They have done so much for the town; blood drives, conservation projects and helping the needy."
It is fitting that the community acknowledge the accomplished group of young people who helped the community. "I think it's a great idea," said Selectman William Greathead.
Recco and his wife, Taryn, want to emphasize that no town money will be used on the project.
"We are an army of two," he said. "Now that the board is behind us, we will start a fundraising campaign." He estimates the cost of the monument at $15,000 to $20,000 and that all the money will be from private and corporate donations.
"The BSA and GSA have contributed $5.8 billion worth of community services around the nation," said Recco. "Much of that in direct support of conservation and environmental projects."