Corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and Irish soda bread were on the menu as Boy Scout Troop 20/Pack 20 of the New Utrecht Reformed Church held their 36th annual St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser dinner on Saturday, March 14.
The troop has now been associated with the parish for 105 years, meeting weekly.
“[The church has] been letting us stay here for all these years, so we’ve been serving the youth of the community,” said Elaine Delaney, cub master and assistant scoutmaster. “This is our big fundraiser, so whatever we make will help the boys go to summer camp.”
Many local businesses and parents donated baskets of goods. Upwards of 160 prizes were raffled off, ranging from $25 gift certificates to area restaurants like Skinflints and Bridgeview Diner, to children’s toys and designer wristlets.
“More people should get their children involved in scouting, because besides all the great merit badges – where today can you really teach kids to do great for the community?” said Delaney. “It’s about community service and teaching the boys to be good citizens with good character.”
Frank Maddalena, scoutmaster, said that the program helped him become the person he is today.
“I enjoy working with the boys,” said Maddalena. “I enjoy teaching them what I learned and I enjoy seeing that expression of when they finally get that ‘Wow’ moment.”
Maddalena also mentioned that the program revolves around teaching young boys how to grow through summer camp activities like swimming, aviation, boating, archery and cooking, and achieve moments of self-satisfaction.
“You can learn reading, writing and arithmetic in school, but they’re not going to teach you how to fend for yourself,” said Maddalena. “They’re not going to teach you how to cook for yourself.”
Parish representatives said they were proud to host for yet another year, hoping for many more.
“We strongly support the troop’s efforts and we value what they do for instilling principles in youth,” said Susan Hanyen, the parish’s consistory vice president.