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Five Monroe scouts celebrate Eagle honor

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MONROE – A group of five friends who are seniors at Monroe Township High School celebrated their Eagle Court of Honor together.

Troop 60 scouts Joseph Vitale, Robert Reina, Donald Owen, Henry Haligowski and Dominic Lepri became Eagle Scouts during a ceremony at the Monroe Township Senior Center on May 21.

Joseph completed an information kiosk at the Monroe Community Garden on Applegarth Road in Monroe.

He met John Katerba, the township historian and member of the Monroe Community Garden Board, while working as a volunteer on another scout’s Eagle project. Since the garden was in need of a central location to post notices and gardening information, Joseph met with the Community Garden Committee members and decided to build a permanent structure that would enhance the beauty of the garden by removing the clutter of notices being posted on the garden fence.

The kiosk is a 12-foot structure built of pressure treated lumber with a cedar shingle roof. The notice board is two-sided with recessed locks and Plexiglas windows.

Joseph dedicated the kiosk in honor of Joseph Harvie, a well-respected township employee who died in 2016.

Joseph plans to attend Brookdale Community College and study music technology in the hopes of becoming a recording/sound technician. He currently is the guitarist, lead singer and songwriter of an alternative/grunge band he and his friends formed four years ago.

Robert constructed an information kiosk at the Dey Farm Historical site on Federal Road in Monroe. He also consulted with Katerba to provide a means for guests visiting the farm the ability to quickly gather information about the history of the farm as well as be advised of farm rules, contact information and upcoming events.

Robert plans to attend college in the fall.

Donald created an emergency evacuation plan and outside waiting area in the case of an emergency for Immaculate Conception Church in Spotswood where he is a parishioner and an altar server for the church.

One day, while attending Mass, Donald said he heard fire alarms activate and questioned the evacuation plan, according to information provided by Troop 60. He approached Monsignor Joseph Curry about creating formal evacuation procedures, performing drills with the parishioners and creating an outside waiting area. Along with Curry and the appropriate inspectors and fire officials, including Spotswood Fire Chief Peter Genthe, they created a plan, posted the evacuation plan and performed drills throughout a weekend of Masses.

Donald will attend Rowan University for exploratory studies in the fall.

Henry completed a prayer garden at his parish of Nativity of Our Lord in Monroe where he is a parishioner, altar server and active in the youth group.

He approached the Rev. Edward Flanagan about a necessary and meaningful project at the parish, and Flanagan proposed a memorial garden. The garden consists of an approximately 300-square-foot paver patio with a landscape wall, arbor vitae trees, golden thread and box wood bushes as well as other plants, concrete benches and a hand carved crucifix.

The garden will be dedicated to Ann Dixon, a deceased member of the parish.

Hank will attend Villanova University to study environmental engineering.

Dominic established a General George Washington’s Historic Trail through Monroe Township.

Dominic was interested in the history of Monroe and approached Katerba about a project highlighting the history of the township, according to information provided by the troop. He researched Washington’s march through Monroe on his way to the Battle of Monmouth. Dominic mapped out the trail as historically accurate as possible along Monroe’s current roadways and park system and worked with township employees to make the road signs and install them along the roadways to mark the trail.

Dominick will attend Middlesex County College to pursue a degree in engineering.

Troop 60 also recognized Austin Aitken who recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.

 

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