Soaring scout


I became an Eagle Scout on October 10, 2007. One of my final requirements was to do an Eagle Scout project. I designed and built a meditation garden at McGann-Mercy High School. I wanted to give back to my school community. I’m happy to see that it’s used every day whether students and faculty sit, pray and reflect or whether students wait in the garden for a ride home after school activities.

Many people helped me along my Trail to Eagle and I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly thank them. With respect to my Eagle Project, a special thank you to Mr. Thom Speckenbach, who was my advisor and mentor; Ms. Linda Robins, chairperson; Mr. Tac Hostetter, Scoutmaster; all committee members of Troop 58 who approved my project; Rev. Lee and chartering organization Southampton United Methodist Church; and Dr. Steven Cheeseman, principal of McGann-Mercy High School; Sr. Kathy Schlueter, Mr. Michael Clauberg, Dr. Robert Scheuch, Mr. Chris Zito, and Sister Mary Assunta for writing character letters for me; all the people of Southampton who supported my car wash fund-raiser; Southampton Troop 58 Scouts, friends and adults for your time and labor, including Andy Fowler, Evan Schuech, Jarred Robins, Shane Sharkey, Robbie Terry, Sean Laffey, Eric Goleski, Tristan Tutching, Peter Miller, William Allan, Justin Sinclair, Greg Nanos, Finley Behringer, Josh Hostetter, Jake Hostetter, John Bezubeck, Robert Borgono,Ken and Erma Herzog, Paul and Matthew Dilandro (Hampton Bays Troop 483), Kenny Healy, Mr. John Signorelli; Ms. Jacqueline Fitzpatrick, Mrs. Noreen Iovino, and Mrs. Julie McClave for assistance in paperwork; to businesses for your donations and prompt service: VerDerBer Nursery, Romanski Irrigation, Terry Contracting and Materials, Inc., Riverhead Building Supply, and Walsh/Conley Religious Goods Inc.; thanks to Mr.& Mrs. Mark Zaweski, Mr. & Mrs. Jeff Dilandro, Mr.& Mrs. James Rossi, Mr. & Mrs. Peter Izzo for your generous donations for the Queen of Heaven Statue.

A sincere thank you to many people who helped plan and participate in my Eagle Court of Honor including all scouts and committee members of Troop 58; all presenting dignitaries whose words meant a lot to me including Mr. Paul DeVaul, who represented Tim Bishop and VFW Dunes Post #7009, Suffolk County Legislator 2nd District Jay Schneiderman, Town Supervisor Linda Kabot, Mayor Mark Epley, Father Mike Reider of McGann-Mercy; Southampton Knights of Columbus and Southampton Elks, Joe Pincus; Kiwanis of Southampton, Ms. Lorri Schneider; Southampton Rotary, Mr. Paul Henneforth; Catholic Committee on Scouting, Mr. Gerard Buckley, Sr., and the U.S. Marines representatives. Many other people helped make my ceremony special including Diane Zeluff, Father Jeff Madley, Mr. & Mrs. Tom Nanos, Mr. Tyler Sinclair, Mr. John Laffey, Dr. Robert Scheuch, Bobby Scheuch, Mr. Fred Calise, Mr. Richard Tutching, Mrs. Midge Fowler, Mrs. Ann Buckley, Maple Tree Deli, SEA-TV and all friends and family who travelled a great distance.

Thank you to the Cherry Blossom Ensemble of the Peconic Youth Orchestra for volunteering your time and musical talents: Mrs. Takano Nakamura Calise, concert mistress; on violins, Brandon White, Benjamin Periera, Christian Oliveros, Conor Kiembock; on cello, Ian Saw-Burke, Christopher Osufsen, Kivlan King, Christian Deger. Your music was very impressive and made the court of honor extra special.

And last, thanks to my brother Robbie for working by my side every step of the way, to my sister Margaret for your love and support, and most especially to my parents for your encouragement. I appreciate all you’ve done to help me with my project and ceremony. I promise to always do my best, on my honor.

I encourage all kids to join scouting because it’s an extremely rewarding opportunity to learn countless skills and to give back to the community.

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