FAIR HAVEN TEEN ATTAINS EAGLE SCOUT RANK

Michael Frissora Elmer PotterEagle Scout Michael Frissora of Fair Haven (left) is pictured at the BSA Troop 67 Court of Honor with Elmer Potter, who at 90 years of age is Monmouth County’s oldest living Eagle Scout.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Fair Haven resident Michael Frissora has attained the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest possible achievement for a member of the Boy Scouts of America. The award was conferred by BSA Troop 67 Scoutmaster Michael Maier at a Court of Honor, held on January 8 at First Presbyterian Church in Red Bank.

For his Service Project, an Eagle Scout requirement, Michael returned to his “roots” and gave back to Fair Haven’s Viola L. Sickles School, the public primary school where he began his education. Michael’s project was a large garden constructed of recycled wooden pallets and located on a 1,000 square foot lot adjacent to the school.

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LITTLE SILVER: BANG THE DRUM FOR MUSIC ED

FergusonRed Bank Regional senior Joseph Ferguson attained his Eagle Scout Rank by supervising the construction of 10 cajons (simple drums) for Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in Asbury Park. He is pictured with the cajons, and the school’s music teacher Micki Stukane. 

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

As a senior in the Visual and Performing Arts Academy (VPA) at Red Bank Regional High School, Joseph Ferguson of Little Silver has used every opportunity to make his passion for music part of his life, both in and out of school. A piano major, he plays the keyboard in RBR’s jazz band, and doubles as a percussionist in the concert band. He also volunteers his music talents with the summer band camp program at his alma mater Markham Place Middle School, and played in the pit band for school musical productions. Joe earned membership in the Tri-M Music Honor Society, and outside of school has entertained at restaurants and parties.

So when it came time for this member of Little Silver’s Boy Scout Troop 126 to choose an Eagle Scout project, Joe looked to music to help him achieve the highest level in scouting. He discovered the inspiration during a visit to an Asbury Park music store, where he encountered a “build it yourself” kit for a cajon, a six-sided, box-shaped South American percussion instrument played by slapping the front or rear faces (usually thin plywood) with the hands and fingers.

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FOR EAGLE SCOUT, IT’S ABOUT GIVING BACK

scout pic 592For his Eagle Scout project, RBR senior and Shrewsbury resident Matthew Kowalski designed and supervised the construction of this storage shed for the Shrewsbury Community Garden.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

The Shrewsbury Community Garden was established a year ago by dedicated volunteers to beautify their community. The gardeners would bring all their own equipment tools to work the gardens; some would get lost or rust outside.  Now, thanks to a volunteer project coordinated and supervised by Red Bank Regional student Matthew Kowalski for his Eagle Scout Rank, the volunteers have a new shed to house their equipment.

Matt planned the project for nine months, meeting with the Garden Committee for their input on the design and materials.  After school, Matt and his fellow Troop 50 volunteer scouts and adult leaders constructed the shed in one month’s time. He also relied on his scout advisor and an assistant scoutmaster with construction experience for guidance.

LITTLE SILVER SCOUT RECOVERS GRAVESITES

JeffreyeaglescoutRBR senior Jeffrey Villapiano of Little Silver is pictured at the Mount Calvary Cemetery the site of his Eagle Scout project.  With the assistance of his volunteers, Jeffrey unearthed the hidden gravestones of Italian American victims who died during the great pandemic of the early 20th century. 

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Red Bank Regional senior Jeffrey Villapiano, a Little Silver resident and member of Boy Scout Troop 126, recently achieved scouting’s highest honor of Eagle Scout. The idea for his Eagle Scout project germinated when he accompanied his father Gavino Villapiano to Mount Calvary Cemetery in Neptune, armed with metal detectors and trash pickers.

The Villapiano men were  there on a mission to identify and recover the grave marker of a long-dead relative — Jeff’s great aunt Michelina Villapiano, who died at the age of two in the influenza pandemic of the early 20th century.

“My dad had heard that sometimes the graves were just marked by a lead pipe, as the families could not afford head stones,” explains Jeffrey. “At most, a small metal plaque would mark their identity.”

The Mount Calvary burial ground was used by many Italian American families during those years; a time before regular maintenance was performed on gravesites, and before the names of the interred were even recorded as a rule. Following an afternoon of scouring an old and overgrown section of the cemetery, they discovered the small stone of the child who passed away in 1917, during the onset of the so-called Spanish Flu that infected half a billion people across the world. Father and son lovingly repositioned her stone to see the sun again — and an idea occurred to Jeffrey.

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