WHITESBORO, TX-A Whitesboro boy scout is on a mission to build a memorial to honor and remember a local World War II hero. But he needs your help to make that happen.
"I just remember what a great man he was and I remember wanting to grow up just to be like him."
Whitesboro Boy Scout, John Hall spent his summer working on a memorial for Charles Baum, a local World War II veteran and Bataan Death March survivor, who passed away in May.
"He was a big influence on me because he was a strong man, strong willed and he really looked out for us kids," he said.
Baum was only a 24-year-old Army Private when he survived the terror of the Bataan Death March; enduring 90 miles without food, water and rest.
He also spent 42 months as a POW.
Baum shared his story of survival to Texoma kids, like Hall, for 50 years. Which left a lasting impression on Hall and inspired him to create a memorial.
"I decided a memorial bench of granite would last for future generations to honor him," Hall said.
He approached Whitesboro Parks and Recreation director Penny Renfroe.
"I was really impressed that someone of one generation wanted to do something so lasting for someone of another generation," she said.
The bench will stand next to the water fountain on Trollinger Park along East Main. It will be etched with the Army Air Corps insignia and other emblems that represent Baum's service.
Hall said the community reaction is overwhelming.
"It just made me feel warm really because everyone's supported me from the beginning and have supported me now. I'd like to thank the community and everyone who has helped on my project," he said.
"It's just so encouraging because I think we can all learn from what Mr. Baum did and at the same time, we can all learn from what Mr. Hall is doing," said Renfroe.
Hall is trying to raise $2,000 for the Charles Baum Memorial.
If you'd like to donate, contact Whitesboro Parks and Recreation (903) 564-5964.
Or drop it off at:
Whitesboro Community Center
400 Wilson St.
You can also mail it in:
Whitesboro Parks and Recreation Department
P.O. BOX 340