Troop 1 Celebrates Five New Eagle Scouts
By Michelle Sanford Staff Reporter/Columnist · May 14, 2012
Congratulations to Troop 1's five new Eagle Scouts from L to R: Christopher Merolli, Ian Jankauskas, Brandon Elliot, Spencer Hess, and Richard Schofield, III.
On the evening of Friday, April 20, St. Gabriel's Church in Upton had a packed crowd, however, those present were not there to celebrate Mass, but instead to celebrate the accomplishments of five new Eagle Scouts from Mendon's Troop 1.
Brandon Elliot, Spencer Hess, Ian Jankauskas, Christopher Merolli and Richard Schofield, III, were all recognized for receiving the ranking of Eagle Scout; the highest honor a scout can receive.
The evening kicked off at 6 p.m. at St. Gabriel's with a delicious dinner among Troop members, and family and friends of the five boys. From there, everyone proceeded into the church for a 7 p.m. ceremony where the five scouts were honored with Scout Shawn Clifton serving as Master of Ceremonies.
In order to receive their Eagle Scout rank, the boys must attain at least 21 merit badges, serve in various leadership positions, and complete a service project to benefit the community.
Brandon Elliot oversaw the construction of an exercise/workout course at Mendon's Veteran Memorial Field. Spencer Hess managed the construction of an outdoor reflecting garden and patio at The Ledges in Hopedale; a community for developmentally disabled adults. Ian Jankauskas supervised and oversaw the planning and construction of a baseball equipment shed at Veteran's Memorial Park in Mendon. Christopher Merolli oversaw the construction of an outdoor patio at St. Gabriel's. And Richard (Richie) Schofield led efforts in the construction of a brick patio in Mendon Founder's Park. All boys were responsible for organizing volunteers and obtaining funding for their projects.
"What you have done is absolutely amazing," said Mendon Upton Superintendent Joseph Maruszczak during the ceremony. "You are the best of the best, the crème de la crème." He also noted the five boys were in good company listing a number of other well-known Eagle Scouts including Bill Gates, Neil Armstrong, and former Presidwent Gerald Ford.
A number of other church, town, and state officials spoke during the ceremony to congratulate the five new Eagle Scouts including State Representative John Fernandes, D. Milford, Senator Richard Moore, D. Uxbridge, Mendon Selectman Mike Ammendolia, Chair of the Massachusetts American Legion Arthur Smith, Knights of Columbus Representative Dan LaBastie, Sons of Revolution member Vern Thayer, Mendon Historical Commission member Jane Lowell, Mendon Junior Baseball League Vice President Thomas Belland, and Father Laurence Brault and Father Thomas Mahoney of St. Gabriel's.
A poignant part of the ceremony took place at the end when the boys were each given a mentor pin and asked to present it to one person in attendance, who helped mentor him through the Eagle Scout process. Spencer gave his mentor pin to his grandfather; Ian gave his pin to Scout Master Ken O'Brien; Christopher presented his pin to his Eagle Scout brother Tom; and Brandon and Richie both presented their pins to their fathers.
At the conclusion, attendees were invited to a dessert and coffee reception to continue the celebration.