Last fall's plastic caps collection drive turned out well for the Caps for Brockmeyer committee.
Thanks to a 200-pound donation from Girls Scout Cadet Troop 8128 out of Pinckneyville, the committee acquired enough caps to create five memorial benches for fallen Chester Police officer and volunteer firefighter James Brockmeyer.
One each will be placed at Chester City Hall, the Chester Police Department and the Chester Fire Department. The remaining two will be installed at the new Memorial Park at the corner of State and Opdyke streets.
"It's been a lot longer than we thought and a lot more work," said Cub Master-in-Training Christie Brace. "When (news of the drive) was put out, everybody was collecting caps. But then any caps that have a label had to be cleaned and the label removed."
Brace estimates that she and local Girl Scout, Boy Scout and Venture Crew troops spent around 20 hours cleaning and removing the labels from more than 1,600 pounds of caps.
"We weighed up 1,603 and we knew we hit our goal and have been adding to it in case our calculations are off," Brace said.
The benches will be created at Green Tree Plastics of Evansville, Indiana. The benches will be red (CFD), blue (CPD), cedar (city hall) and gray (Memorial Park) and will be installed in time for the Oct. 28 memorial and dedication service at the park, scheduled for 11 a.m.
With the exception of a 4-foot bench at the CPD, all benches will be 6-foot in length and have backs on them. The caps will be dropped off at Green Tree on Monday and expected to be ready for pickup Oct. 18.
"We would like to say thank you to Gilster-Mary Lee, who is transporting the caps to Evansville and bringing the benches back," Brace said.
The benches, which are made of 100 percent receycled material, do not come preassembled.
"We'll probably put them together that weekend so we can present them to each department and make sure they're there at the memorial," Brace said.