Jack Higgins: Eagle Scout Extraordinaire

By Sarah Sexton | Publish Date August 15, 2019

This year John David Higgins IV or “Jack”, the son of Kirkwood by the River’s Board Chairman John Higgins, began the long process of completing his Eagle Project. A Boy Scout’s Eagle Project is the pinnacle act of service that allows him, after years of scouting, to finally achieve the admirable rank of Eagle Scout. Only about 4% of scouts earn this ranking, and those who do have gone through a lengthy review process.

A Boy Scout is able to choose any religious institution, school, or charitable organization from his community to be the beneficiary of the project. The Higgins family has had many members serve in the armed forces for a time so Jack has grown up with a special respect and reverence for US Veterans. As Jack was deciding, he resolved that he wanted to choose a project that could honor veterans and specifically his Grandfather, who was a US Veteran and lived at Kirkwood, where a lot of other veterans reside today.

After much consideration and conversation, Jack chose to build a concrete, outdoor fire pit for the terrace outside of Kirkwood’s Main Dining Room for his Eagle Scout Project. This seating area overlooks the Cahaba River with beautiful views of the river, trees and nature surrounding.

Jack created a binder on his proposed project and presented it to the Eagle Board in the district. The board relayed their questions and suggestions until the project was approved. Jack then raised the funds to purchase all of the supplies, enlisted helpers to complete the project, and coordinated with Kirkwood CEO, Chad Carter, in order to ensure that the project would be successful.

The labor over the past few months included Jack and his helpers building the mold for the base and top of the structure, pouring and separating the concrete from the mold, and sanding/sealing the final structures. This completed the construction of the fire pit itself. The last task was to deliver and install the fire pit to its new home at Kirkwood by the River! 

On July 23rd, 2019, Jack Higgins and his team of scouts came to Kirkwood to deliver this special piece that will add so much joy and life to our terrace space. The entire process took approximately 150 man hours from Jack, the Higgins family, and numerous other scouts and troop leaders. We are so appreciative of Jack and the Higgins family for their support and contribution. Without generous families like the Higgins, who constantly give us their love and time, Kirkwood would not be the organization we are today.


The Residents

Our residents come from different backgrounds and bring their unique qualities, talents, and life experiences to complete the Kirkwood community. Here are just a few reflections from some individuals who call Kirkwood their home.

My time at Kirkwood was spectacular; they taught me how to walk again. The staff was outstanding, and the care was beyond reproach. When I arrived, I had a long way to go. I was very sick. The first night, they had to lift me as I could not move by myself. When I left, they were chasing me down the hallway. They taught me how to perform the activities of daily living again. It was the best care I could have prayed for, and on top of that, the food was spectacular.

Eli Gold Past Resident

I fell in love with the cottage and the view from my back porch. I am excited to have a yard for Ginger, my poodle, to play in and my own garage, all within an established retirement community!

Charlotte Hamilton Current Resident

My husband and I looked at a number of places when deciding to move to a retirement community. For the most part, we found communities that said, ‘We’re going to take care of you.’ But Kirkwood was different. It wasn’t just about taking care of us. It was also about having fun, having friends, and living life to the fullest. The attitude at Kirkwood was positive and the atmosphere was comforting. We simply couldn’t resist. Without a doubt, the location was ideal. The Cahaba Room that overlooks the river, the mountains, the trails – there were just so many things about life. The community was lively. It was alive.

Alice Brooks Current Resident

We realized we were approaching an age where we might need more assistance than what just downsizing could provide. Knowing we have my sons nearby and the levels of care should we need it is comforting, and the beautiful hillside, river, and the woods makes it that much more appealing. We don’t know of any other community that has the woods, the various levels of care, and so many different amenities.

Phyllis and John Guschke Current Residents

We were moving my parents down from the Cleveland area to be near us. I looked at almost every retirement place in the Birmingham area. The second I turned into Kirkwood’s drive and drove up the hill, I knew that I’d found the perfect place for my parents to live in Alabama. In the six years that my parents have been at Kirkwood, I have always felt nothing but love and helpfulness from every staff member. Everyone is always helpful with a pleasant attitude. You can truly see and feel the family atmosphere. I’m happy that my parents can call Kirkwood their home.

Brenda Sheehan Kirkwood family member

When we learned that Cedar Ridge was being developed, that seemed to fit our needs very well. It is the ideal place for the next phase of our retirement.

Carol and Arthur Stephens Current Residents

One thing that we feel is very important here at Kirkwood by the River is the relationship that we have between the staff and the residents. They are dedicated to making our life here as safe and secure and pleasurable as possible. That goes a long way.

Fred Rogers Current Resident

The community's cottage living surrounded by a wooded, natural environment with access to future healthcare services is what attracted us to Kirkwood!

Rick and Jane Ricketts Current Residents