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Neighbor to Neighbor: Rosedale Boy Scouts hatch their last Eagle

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The late President Gerald Ford and our own Mayor Michael Bloomberg reached the pinnacle of scouting success by becoming Eagle Scouts. On Jan. 14, Rosedale's Boy Scouts of America Troop No. 556 "hatched" another Eagle Ð David Fenty. David's Court of Honor took place, as many others have done, at St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church School in the presence of Monsignor Thomas Graham, family, friends, and the wonderful scouting teachers, Scout Master A. Chimienti, Assistant Scout Master Verna Thompson, and Advancement Chair Anthony Spinelli. Members of David's Court of Honor included Michael Chimienti, Joey Spinelli and Christopher Williams, Eagle Scouts themselves. As many times as I have been witness to the Eagle Court of Honor ceremonies, I never cease to be impressed. Each candle lit during the ceremony has special meaning and each Eagle has, with the necessary help of family and the scouting specialists, told us how proud overcoming the challenges put before them has made them feel. David spoke from the heart with poise and gratitude for the program and people who made the day possible for him because such an accomplishment was a joint effort Ð teaching, encouraging, and, yes, sometimes forcing him to continue. He deserves a great deal of credit for achieving this important goal. We are all proud of David, his family, and of the Chimienti, Spinelli and Thompson families who have all made personal sacrifices of time, money and effort for a great many young people. It was very sad for me to learn that day that the troop has been forced out of existence due to lack of interest Ð not of boys, but of the parents. Once lost, such an important life-enhancing opportunity may he impossible to regain. We're glad David and those who made Eagle Scout before him were given this extraordinary opportunity others that will now be forced to miss. Sad as this made me feel, the Feb. 2 Jamaica post office unveiling of the latest issue of Black History Month stamp of Ella Fitzgerald pleased me to see a large number of young people participating there in a number of ways. Students from The Frank Sinatra School danced so well that we could well imagine the stage of the Black Spectrum Theatre had been transported to "Big Broadway." A young songtress, Vanessa Morales from that same school added to their performance and later more young people from the Allen Christian School continued the quality performances as step dancers. The program began with mistress of ceremonies Bernice Wallace, who introduced Rev. Edwin Reid, who gave the invocation. Our Jamaica postmaster James J. Burns spoke briefly, followed by a professional performance by Eddie Harris and his piano, base, and drum trio. Carl Clay, inspirational founder of the Black Spectrum Theatre, now in its 38th year, told us of collaborative efforts to promote future black theater groups.The keynote speaker was Simone-Marie Meeks, wife of U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks, who gave a powerful speech. She spoke not only about Ella Fitzgerald but about the importance of knowing history and knowing change is possible with hard work and respecting the achievements of age and generosity of spirit. After Mrs. Meeks spoke, Postmaster Burns presented essay awards to students from the Allen Christian School, the Catherine and Count Basie Middle School and the St. Catherine of Sienna church. He also named Renee Smith the winner of the Ella Fitzgerald lookalike contest.The program concluded with the unveiling of the enlarged version of the Ella Fitzgerald stamp by Simone-Marie Meeks and Postmaster Burns. Councilman Leroy Comrie is gentleman who seems to participate in every important event. How he gets around so quickly, I can't imagine. He and other City Council members James Gennaro, John Liu, Helen Sears and David Weprin participated in New York City Council speaker Christine Quinn's community speaking tour held at York College Jan. 31.Speaker Quinn's initiative gave an opportunity to people of each borough to speak directly to some Council members about things they feel are the most important for budgetary consideration.Many people asked for funding for youth programs. Others were concerned about safety, health, housing, infrastructure and more. Each of the events were very well attended which reflects that the people of are constructively concerned about the future of the borough.

Posted 7:07 pm, October 10, 2011
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