Lakeside resident Sebastian Hill and school friend Christian Pirotte, two college seniors in Air Force ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) working toward a commission as 2nd Lieutenants were looking for a service project where they could do something to give back to the lake community.
As the weather was beginning to warm, water based activities were increasing and the community was bustling in preparation for the Independence Day celebrations their service interest turned toward the dive platform anchored in the Southeast corner where the annual 4th of July swim races would be held. “We thought that painting the dock in an American flag pattern would be a great way to promote our national pride, provide a great visual to celebrate the 4th of July, and give back to the community by cleaning up the weathered dock.” Sebastian offered.
After some planning, Christian and Sebastian received assistance from Steve Beck and Lonnie Goulet for preparing the dock for painting by helping to pressure wash what must have been 40 lbs of bird droppings and a thick carpet of moss covering the surface. Sebastian’s father Doug Hill was commissioned to ferry paint and cleaning supplies and food of course to the ambitious guys during the many hours they were out their scrubbing, spraying and cleaning.
Once all the boards received a fresh coat of primer to increase paint adhesion, taping began to section off the area where the field of blue and stars would be placed. After the first coat of red and white stripes were down, handmade star stencils were applied on top of the white circles we drew where the stars would to be placed. Sebastian recalls “We were out on the platform one night when it started raining and we stayed out there until 10:30 pm trying to protect the stars and blue paint. We had to come back the next morning and fix what the rain had ruined.”
Upon completing the rework and stencil shapes had been reapplied, blue paint was spread over the entire field area. After the appropriate curing time had been reached the stencils were pulled up to reveal the brilliant white stars among a regal blue background. The finishing touches were applied by painting the bottom boards black and using stencils to write "Land of the Free, Because of the Brave."
The project was completed in plenty of time before the 4th of July competitive Swim and Boat Races began. We’d like to provide recognition and express appreciation for the great job these two men did in championing and managing this effort.