Scout collects for troops

A couple of Boy Scouts from Troop 1 in Flushing are on patrol right now – doing a good deed for hundreds of their older brothers and sisters in uniform – and they’re looking for help.

Kevin Wong is a Life Scout working on his “Eagle project.” That is a major task, which must be completed before he can be elevated to scouting’s highest rank, Eagle Scout.

He’s collecting “necessaries” like chewing gum, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, pens and writing paper, to send to troops in Afghanistan and or Iraq. Wong is recruiting as much help as he can get and as many contributions as he can collect by Friday, May 15.

“I’m hoping to collect enough to make ‘care packages’ for an entire company [up to 190 soldiers, according to the army] and send them out by Memorial Day weekend,” he said.

The list of acceptable items is long. It includes: Phone cards; chewing gum; small hard candy; soap bars; DVD’s and CD’s; power/granola/Cliff Bars; paperback books, Lotrimin; toothbrushes and toothpaste, pencils and feminine supplies.

Wong, a senior at Brooklyn Technical High School, who travels from Rego Park to Flushing to attend troop meetings, has been getting the support of his best friend, Baysider Thomas Yoo.

“We’ve known each other since the fifth grade – we met in a swim class at Queens College,” Yoo, a junior at Cardozo High School, recalled. “I got him into my troop; see, I’m a recruiter,” he laughed, pointing to the silver patch just below his right breast pocket.

The pals are also getting help from another, somewhat older fellow troop member – state Senator Frank Padavan. Other than Babe Ruth, Padavan is the only honorary member of Flushing’s Boy Scout Troop 1 since its founding 99 years and two months ago. “I’m proud and happy to assist these fine young men,” said Padavan, a retired Army Colonel.

“He’s got a collection box at his office [89-39 Gettysburg Street in Bellerose], and he put something on his web site,” Wong said.

Padavan isn’t the only one. Assemblymember Ann-Margaret Carrozza and City Councilmember Tony Avella both have collection boxes in their district offices on Bell Boulevard in Bayside.

Councilmember John Liu has made his Flushing office a collection point, and taken the cause to local businesses.

There are also collection boxes at Church on the Hill, 167-07 35th Avenue in Flushing, the Krsnak residence at 42-22 206th Street in Bayside and VFW Post 4787, 19-12 149th Street in Whitestone.

Neither of the young men has knows anyone in the military right now, although Yoo volunteered, “My dad was in the Korean Army.”

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