Boy Scouts fundraiser sets regional record

Published 11:45 pm Friday, July 4, 2014

From Staff Reports

LAPLACE — A record-breaking fundraiser last month has energized the region’s Boy Scouts efforts, while also shining a spotlight on individual success stories.

Derick Harjo, a Scout in Troop 317 located at St. Charles United Methodist Church, oversaw the presentation of the American flag and recited the Scout Oath and Law during “An Evening by the Campfire,” an event hosted recently by The Boy Scouts of America Southeast Louisiana Council.

Harjo spoke about his experiences and achievements gained while climbing the ranks to earn the prestigious Eagle, adding it helped him gain admission to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Also featured was Cub Scout Aiden Grundmeyer, 9, of Destrehan and Pack 317 at St. Charles United Methodist Church, who earned a national heroism award for saving his younger brother after he fell into the family pool.

The event served as the largest annual community fundraiser for Pelican District, which is comprised of St. Charles, St. John and the East Bank of Jefferson Parish, and raised more than $17,800.

“The funds help support the recruitment, training and programming of about 2,800 Scouts in 85 Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, Explorer Posts, Venture Crews and in school Learning for Life Groups,” Pelican District Executive Yoni Sunshine said.

“This event set a new standard for community fundraisers for the Pelican District, setting a new record in contributions and for overall aesthetics and performance.”

The newly formed Boy Scouts Honor Jazz Band, based out of Bonnabel High School, performed for the gathering and closed out the event with a second line.

Saints Hall of Famer Rickey Jackson also told what the scouts meant to him as a young boy, sharing how his Scoutmaster inspired future mentorship and how he learned how to swim.

2014 marks the 90th Anniversary of Scouting in Southeast Louisiana.

Last year, over 10,500 youth took part of the Scouting program in the 11 parishes served by the Southeast Louisiana Council, Sunshine said.