Amid the many changes North Brooklyn is experiencing, some long-running traditions remain. Among them, last month’s 113th annual Seneca Dinner, PS 34’s 63rd Flag Day, and next week’s 125th Feast of the Giglio. Not quite as historic as those events, but joining the ranks quickly, was last week’s 16th Greenpoint/Williamsburg “Toast to Scouting,” which paid tribute to a century-plus American institution, while helping to raise money for its programs.
Incorporated in 1910, The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has helped countless youths build character and become responsible citizens. Their success is evident, both from their alumni, which include five US Presidents (Obama, George W. Bush, Clinton, JFK and Eagle Scout Gerald Ford) to current scouts, like Mario Aguila of Troop 26, who was the “scout speaker” at the June 26th event. Aguila, who will attend the BSA’s National Youth Leadership Training program this summer, was recently awarded a full scholarship to the acclaimed Holy Cross High School. His Scouts experience was a major factor in earning him the honor.
As in its first 15 years, the Greenpoint/Williamsburg “Toast” was held at Brooklyn Brewery. One of three major fundraisers by the BSA’s Lenape Bay District (Brooklyn) along with the Bay Ridge Breakfast and Brooklyn Luncheon, the event helps maintain three year-round scout camps, Camp Pouch (Staten Island), Cub World (Alpine, NJ) and Ten Mile River (Narrowsburg, NY) and provide “camperships” for thousands of scouts.
METRO Energy CFO Tom Torre has been involved with “Toast” since 1998. The President of the Brooklyn Borough Greater New York Boy Scouts and Chairman of the event works for several months each year to ensure the evening is a success. “To me personally, it’s my ability to help the youth in the community, in which I was both born and work, and to prepare them for the future,” he said.
This year’s event honored Melvin Caro and Alex Dietrich co- Managing Directors of Nest Seekers International and Grandma Rose’s owner John Ricco. Christine Holowacz received the Community Achievement Award. “They are the leaders of the future generation and the world,” said Holowacz about the Scouts. Similarly, her co-honorees saw the life training the Scouts provides as crucial for a child’s development. “They instill in their kids qualities that society often does not,” said Ricco. Caro agreed, “We know the foundation and fortitude this organization provides these children is essential for their future.”
“What I love the most about the Boy Scouts is that it teaches important character traits, leadership, community participation and self reliance,” said Assemblyman Joe Lentol, a long-time Scouts supporter. “We desperately need leaders, and the Boy Scout program is one of the few training programs for those that will lead us into the future.”
To contribute to the Lenape Bay District of the BSA, contact Brian Gorman at (212) 651-2875.
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