EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – A group of lifelong Eastchester Boy Scouts have earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest in Scouting.
Derek Cheung, Tenneth Fairclough, Andrew Mrose, Matthew Occhicone, Noah Orlando and Alejandro Urbina were celebrated with a ceremony at the Immaculate Conception Church in Tuckahoe for their commitment to scouting, Troop 353 and the community.
According to the Boy Scouts, only 4 percent of scouts earn the Eagle Scout rank. To achieve the honor, each Scout must progress through six previous ranks, earn no less than 21 merit badges and plan, develop and lead a lengthy community service project that benefits their hometown. They also must attend a Scoutmaster conference and be evaluated by an Eagle Scout Board of Review.
Cheung restored a pathway and helped install new foliage for veterans at the American Legion Hall in Eastchester, while Fairclough rehabilitated the gym locker rooms at Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx. Mrose worked with Habitat for Humanity of Westchester to restore a veteran’s home in his hometown of Yonkers while Occhicone educated the public about the flag code and how to respect Old Glory.
Orlando also went the patriotic route, designing, manufacturing and installing flag holders along headstones for the Veterans of Foreign Wars at Holy Mount Cemetery and Urbina helped seniors at the Michael Malotz long-term care facility in Yonkers by planning and conducting an iPod and CD music drive to replicate the music and memory therapy program.
Tuckahoe Mayor Steve Ecklond awarded each of the new Eagle Scouts a special proclamation from Eastchester Supervisor Anthony Colavita, Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, County Legislator Sheila Marcotte and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.
“I’m in awe of these six young men and what they have accomplished,” he said. “To keep their commitment to the Scouting program, to their families, and to themselves to stay the course and successfully complete the rank of Eagle Scout is a testament to their character.”
According to John Callahan, president of the Westchester-Putnam Council for the Boy Scouts of America, there were 156 Eagle Scout honors awarded in the council in 2014. If every troop churned out as many as Troop 353, there would have been more than 600.
“(That number) is a testament to the fine young men that come into this troop, the commitment of the parents to help their kids progress, and the commitment of the scout leaders,” he said. “It’s a testament to them that this troop generates so many Eagle Scouts.”
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