Where to turn for help? The Boy Scouts

Sue Tiffany needed some help maintaining the yard of her good friend, Avalee Graves, who was in failing health.

Troop 476 helps clean up yard

for gardener

in failing health

Sue Tiffany needed some help maintaining the yard of her good friend, Avalee Graves, who was in failing health.

She knew where to turn: the Boy Scouts.

Scout Troop 476 – 15 scouts and four adult leaders – responded, arriving at Graves’ Fairwood home on April 26, ready to work.

And work they did, according to Tiffany. “It was way more than yard work,” Tiffany said. It was more like landscaping, she said.

“They raked two trailer loads and three truckloads and pruned much of the overgrowth from my friend’s front yard,” Webb said.

“The boys were awesome,” she said, also giving lots of credit to the four adult leaders who were on the job, too.

They used chain saws, a hedger and a blower, among other power tools that Tiffany provided. The boys brought shovels and rakes, “and we needed them,” Tiffany said.

“I couldn’t say enough good about them,” she said.

Tiffany is no stranger to scouting. Her oldest son was 8 when he joined scouting. He’s now 42.

“I have so much respect for Boy Scouts of America,” he said.

She called Troop 476 “a wonderful group,” exemplifying the scout motto. The troop is sponsored by the Highlands Community Church.

“This troop is exemplary of that motto and training, of doing a good turn daily and so many other parts of the scout motto,” she said.

And all that praise is for a troop that has been in existence for only about a year and a half. The troop formed in August 2006.

Scoutmaster Jon Graybill said he didn’t meet Graves, because of her failing health, but met with her daughter Pam. Rob Ryan, the assistant scout master, was the “job foreman.”

Tiffany’s appreciation for the scouts came through in her conversations with Graybill.

“She told me ours was one of the best troops she has worked with,” Graybill said.

But there’s also a bittersweet end to the story.

Avalee Graves died on Monday, May 12, roughly three after the Boy Scouts did their “good deed.”

Graves was a registered nurse, who worked at several local hospitals, according to Tiffany. She was a Red Cross volunteer for 47 years.

She was an artist and weaver and involved in the PTA.

A gardener herself, Graves was the founder and president of the Carriage Glen Garden Club.

“She was just an awesome person,” she said.

A celebration of Graves’ life is 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. today at the Maplewood Golf Course on State Route 169.

Tiffany has known Graves for about two years.

As Graves’ health failed, she offered to help with yard work.

“Turn me loose,” Tiffany asked. “No. No. No,” Graves replied, according to Tiffany.

“I would say, ‘Yes, yes, yes. I can do this.’”

Tiffany spent hours working on her friend’s yard, along with Graves’ nearby family members. There are 1.1 acres in all for what has been described as a “nature preserve.”

How would Avalee Graves have felt about the scouts’ work?

“She would have been absolutely thrilled,” Tiffany said. “She loved her garden.”

Dean A. Radford can be reached at 425-255-3484, ext. 5050, or at dean.radford@rentonreporter.com.