Seven Mile Times

Endless Summer 2018

Whiteway Walkway

Eagle Scout Project Paves the Path for Legion Post 331

By Dave Bontempo

Bradley Whiteway (left) and helpers Sam Eshelman and Gavin Loeper show off the finished walkway.

Sometimes everybody wins.


Call it the Whiteway Walkway, a Ludlam Legacy or a perfect philanthropic storm. By any account, magic unfolded this summer at Stephen Ludlam American Legion Post 331 in Stone Harbor.


Bradley Whiteway, whose family from Maryland has owned property in Avalon for 20 years, conducted an epic Eagle Scout project outdoors in the summer heat. Helped by Avalon Yacht Club buddies, borough public works equipment and an adult Eagle Scout from a Sea Isle City masonry company, Whiteway launched an ambitious event.


Whiteway’s crew provided a paved walkway on the north end of the Post 331 building, stretching roughly 43 feet long and four feet wide. His project, providing a more stable walking area, especially for the elderly, unfolded over several Fridays in July and August.  When completed, the endeavor probably ran about 60 hours, not including the coordination, communication and oversight process.


“Even by Eagle Scout standards, I think this was an incredible amount of effort,” says Jeff Whiteway, Bradley’s father, point man and retired naval officer. “Something Bradley needs to do for his report is to give an accounting for the labor hours along with the project management, coordination and phone calls. It will be interesting to see what that final total is. There is a heavy emphasis on the leadership and project-management part of this. Most Eagle Scout projects I have seen have usually been completed in one day. This one took several Fridays.”


Bradley (standing) with his crew of helpers.


Project management? Coordinating with borough officials? Assembling a staff? Nice professional credentials.


And Bradley Whiteway? Well, he’s all of 14 years old. He hasn’t even started high school at Georgetown Prep in Bethesda, Md., but he already has learned about perseverance, planning and physical labor.


“It was interesting to do the whole thing,” says the Eagle Scout-to-be from Bethesda’s Troop 68. “There were usually five people with me. We first shoveled down through the rocks, and then you had the concrete and the sand to put in. When it was finished, it was really cool to see the layers we had gone through. I am happy with how this turned out.”


Bradley received logistical support from public works and from Roger Fehrle, a 1962 Eagle Scout whose family owns the Herman Fehrle & Sons masonry company in Sea Isle City. Fehrle provided materials and the professional knowledge for this endeavor.


The project links four generations of the Whiteway family, including three generations of military veterans.


Roger Fehrle provides coaching to the crew on paver placement.


Jeff Whiteway, whose grandfather served in World War II as a major in the engineering corps, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1993. He was a special operations officer who served in the Persian Gulf in Operation Desert Fox, conducting operations on land and in water defusing bombs among other duties.


Jack Whiteway, Bradley’s grandfather, served as a First Lieutenant in Vietnam in the mid-1960s. He moved ammunition by truck to the troops and takes special pride in his grandson’s tribute to veterans. He recalls being spat upon in Philadelphia when returning from the Vietnam War.


“This is a fantastic gesture from Bradley to the vet-erans,” he says. “I still get emotional at times thinking about the day I came back from the war and arrived in Philly. Everybody and his brother hated the Vietnam War. My father being a WWII veteran was shocked at how we were treated.”


The boys clearing out area for new paver walkway.


“Now when young men and servicewomen arrive in an airport, they are congratulated, which is the right thing. I appreciated what my dad went through, Jeff respects what I did and Bradley appreciates what his father accomplished. You don’t really think about it all too much other than to notice that the discipline of service carries through.”


Jack and his wife Diane Whiteway were based in Millville when they set the family’s Avalon anchor by purchasing a house in 1998. Ten years later, Jeff and his wife Andrea followed suit. The family has been heavily involved with the Avalon Yacht Club. Jeff taught there as a teenager and Bradley set his project dates for Fridays to complement his Monday-Thursday sailing instructional program.


Bradley carts the pavers before completion.


Bradley secured the help of yachtmates Gavin Loeper, Sam Eshelman, Jack-son Eshelman, Blake Eshelman and James McCollough in his project.


“Avalon has always been a draw for us,” Jeff Whiteway says. “Coming from a busy city like Washington, D.C., and comparing that to the way we feel in Avalon gives us the sense of being in a quieter, friendlier environment. Our children can go outside, enjoy nature, enjoy the water and their neighbors.”


Northend access prior to installation of new walkway.


They can even obtain some gratitude. Tom McCullough, the 331 Post commander, officially recognized Bradley at the Aug. 7 Legion meeting. Had the Legion paid for the walkway, it would have easily cost $3,500.


“Bradley should be commended for what he did for us, right in the heat of the summer,” McCullough says. “This absolutely shows the fine young men and women we have that are developing into leadership roles in this great United States of America. The kids are still there, looking for ways to help our communities. This is what the youth of America is all about.


Stephen C. Ludlam American Legion Post 331


“What Bradley did for us is terrific. We feel that our post, the oldest building in Stone Harbor and a national historical site, just added another jewel to our crown.”


McCullough views this walkway as another frame in a rosy big picture.


Jack, Jeff and Bradley: Three generations of Whiteways serving our nation and community.


“The support from the people I call Mayor Marty [Pagliughi, Avalon] and Mayor Judy [Davies-Dunhour, Stone Harbor] has been second to none,” he says. “Every department cannot do enough to support the veterans of Seven Mile Island. We are very proud and grateful.”


Yes, sometimes, in the right setting, everybody can win. It looks like they did here.

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