Mattison McLaurin hasn’t been forgotten.
The Evergreen High School senior who took his own life on Oct. 28, 2019, was honored in a special ceremony by his Boy Scout Troop 737 on Sunday afternoon. The Scouts completed the benches he had planned to build for his Eagle Scout project, and they held a dedication attended by more than 35 people. The benches built with skis will be placed outside the Evergreen Christian Outreach food bank, and the dedication took place in the meadow just east of that location.
“It was a great honor to get to finish the project,” said Christy Pond with the Boy Scouts. “When we worked on the project, we shared memories of him.”
Matti’s grandfather, Lawrence Kline, himself a Scout in his youth, said he and Matti bonded over their love of Scouting, adding that Matti embodied five of the 12 points of the Boy Scout law: trustworthy, friendly, courteous, kind and cheerful.
He explained that those at the dedication ceremony embodied the remaining seven points of the law — loyal, helpful, obedient, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent — because they cared enough to complete Matti’s Eagle Scout project.
He told the Scouts in attendance: “Always be prepared through all of the challenges life brings you.”
Scoutmaster Bill Plaehn said he attended a camp for Cub Scouts moving into Boy Scouting, and Matti’s absence was apparent because he loved to teach the younger ones, and he was a role model for the older Scouts, showing them patience.
“You could always count on Matti to be helpful,” Plaehn said. “His Eagle Scout project helps people who are helpful.”
Scouts and family members assured Matti’s mom, Courtney Kline, and his sister Corynn that his memory will live on in the troop because he was loved by everyone associated with Troop 737.
Jo Haynes, the food bank manager, said EChO has been the recipient of several Eagle Scout projects, the firewood and recycling storage units being prime examples. However, Matti’s project was different.
“His project is about slowing down, taking a breath and just being,” Haynes said. “People can stop and reflect about what a wonderful place Evergreen is and how generous the people here are.”
Courtney Kline said: “This is exactly what (Matti) would have wanted. He wanted people to take a break.”
September is National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month. Here are some resources for adults and young people:
• Colorado Crisis Services suicide and crisis counseling: 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255 to speak to a trained professional.
• Call 911
• National Suicide Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
• The Trevor Project Provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQI+ youth at 1-866-488-7386, TrevorChat and TrevorText (text “TREVOR” to 202-304-1200).
• Safe to Tell: an anonymous way for students, parents and community members to report unsafe and risky behaviors before they grow out of control, 1-877-542-7233.