Tag Archives: Boy Scouts

Whitestone street dedicated to former resident

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alina Suriel

The Whitestone community had a strong turnout on June 12 for the dedication of a local street in honor of a late veteran known for his volunteer efforts.

The residential street on 145th Place and 17th Avenue will now be known as Robert C. Lohnes Way after Robert Lohnes, a former first class seaman in the United States Navy and retired NYPD detective.

He had lived on the street with his family for over 40 years before dying last year.

During his lifetime, Lohnes received a National Defense Medal for his nine-year stint in the U.S. Navy, and later served 34 years as a detective in the NYPD.

He was also involved in numerous volunteer efforts in the community, including the Whitestone Community Ambulance Service, Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of America, in addition to helping out with response efforts during and after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Lohnes passed away unexpectedly in late winter 2014 after being stricken with a form of blood cancer.

Councilman Paul Vallone and Assemblyman Edward Braunstein stood with Lohnes’ family and friends to unveil the street’s new name.

“Today, and every day, we remember and thank Bob for his service to our great country, our great city, and northeast Queens, and I am proud to join Bob’s wife and children on this very special day,” said Vallone.

“Whitestone, in many senses, is like a small town in a big city: everybody knows each other,” Braunstein added. “If it wasn’t for people like Robert Lohnes, this community wouldn’t be the special place that it is.”

According to Magaly Lohnes, Robert’s wife of 44 years, neighbors overwhelmingly supported the petition to dedicate the street to her late husband.

“A couple of the people even said they’re going to miss the mayor of 145th Place,” Magaly Lohnes said. “Because Bob was out there, he knew everybody, and everybody knew him.”

There was a solemn bagpipe performance of patriotic songs and members of the nonprofit organization Veterans of Foreign Wars were in attendance to honor their fallen comrade.

Many former members of Lohnes’ Boy Scout troops and their families were also among those paying their respects in the crowd of 50 people.

“We want to pay tribute to a man who dedicated his life to service,” said family friend Pat Connolly, who credits Lohnes with mentoring her two sons in their Eagle Scout troops. “He is sorely missed.”


Ridgewood scout soars like an ‘Eagle’ at ceremony

| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

TIMES NEWSWEEKLY/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso


Local high school senior Andrew Goh attained the highest rank a Boy Scout can receive — the Eagle rank — during a ceremony Sunday at the Onderdonk House in Ridgewood.

Goh is a member of St. Matthias’ Boy Scout Troop 327 in Ridgewood, led by Scoutmaster Tim Karcher. Goh’s family immigrated to the United States from Malaysia and established a life in Ridgewood, where Goh attended St. Matthias School.

For the past six years, Goh has been an active member of the Boy Scouts. He was first introduced to scouting by Thomas Dowd, former president of the Friends of the Ridgewood Library, while singing in the St. Matthias Choir. 

According to Tom Dowd — who, along with his brother John, are Eagle Scouts themselves — only 5 percent of scouts nationwide achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. In its nearly 70-year history, Troop 327 has had roughly 25 Eagle Scouts, including Andrew Goh.

As part of the journey toward the Eagle Scout rank, candidates must undertake a special service project aimed at helping a local school, religious institution or the community at large. Goh chose to refurbish the Onderdonk House picnic area as part of his service project.

“I worked on it last summer,” Goh said. “We repaired several of the tables and benches that were out of use. We also sanded everything down and re-stained them.”

The ceremony included a special portion called “Lighting the Eagle Trail” in which Goh’s family and fellow scouts were invited to light a row of 12 candles. Each candle is symbolic of one of the 12 principles of the Boy Scout Oath and Law: trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.

Assemblyman Mike Miller presented Goh with a special citation from the New York State Assembly in recognition of his achievement. Goh also received many honors and commendations, including a congratulatory letter from President Obama.

Troop 327 may be on its way to celebrating more Eagle Scouts in the near future. Two of Goh’s fellow scouts have achieved the rank of Life Scout and are currently pursuing their Eagle Scout titles.

Goh considers the troop’s camping trips as one of his favorite aspects of being a Boy Scout.

“The thing I like most about scouting has got to be the camping because just being able to go away for a weekend and hang out with your friends is a really nice experience,” he said.

Goh is currently a senior at Stuyvesant High School and is looking forward to his graduation in June. He will attend Princeton University in the fall, where he will study operations research, a division of applied mathematics.


Queens Boy Scouts need money for historic Normandy trip

| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Hedy Debonet

Four Boy Scouts from Queens and about a dozen more in the city need help funding a historic trip to Normandy.

The Boy Scouts of America Greater New York Councils is hoping to give 15 young leaders a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tour Europe and visit France during the 70th Anniversary of D-Day.

Nearly 160,000 American soldiers landed on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944 to march across Europe to defeat Hitler at the height of World War II.

“The soldiers who stormed the beach that day are probably no older than the boys we’re taking on this trip,” said Hedy DeBonet, a trip leader from Fresh Meadows.

“This is what we will be showing to the youth on this trip — a reminder of the sacrifices made a generation ago, acknowledgement that freedom is bought at a terrible price,” she added.

Each teen must come up with $2,600 for airfare, hotels and admission fees for nearly a dozen tourist spots, including the Eiffel Tower and the Imperial War Museum.

So far, each Scout has paid for half. But more is needed before the nine-day trip, beginning April 18, DeBonet said.

“There’s so much history that the kids don’t really learn anymore,” she said. “It’s just a real hands-on learning experience.”

Tax deductible checks can be made out to the Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America, at 350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 7820, New York, NY 10118.



Middle Village scout troop needs members

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Charles Krzewski

The St. Margaret’s Boy Scout Troop 119 of Middle Village was once a bustling group filled with dozens of youngsters eager to learn about the outdoors.

But membership in the nearly 70-year-old troop has declined after years of competing for attention with computers, video games and now, mobile devices.

About two decades ago there were more than 35 members, but now with just 14 scouts, the group is seeking new members to teach the importance of nature and charity.

“Outdoor skills are very important,” said Charles Krzewski, the troop committee chair. “If they don’t learn this stuff they’re never going to have an appreciation for the outdoors. And you don’t want people going out to wreck it.”

The boy scout troop teaches boys from ages 10 to 18 how to start fires and build camps. They go on hiking and camping trips upstate and in New Jersey, Staten Island and Pennsylvania.

The troop also teaches the boys sports such as basketball, dodgeball, skiing, fishing, rafting, canoeing and rock climbing, among others.

But, in addition to the fun, the scouting group focuses on charity. They paint over graffiti and do community clean-up. Recently, the scouts also collected pies, snacks, canned food and turkeys, and donated them to local disadvantaged families for Thanksgiving.

Following the holidays, the scouts will collect food to donate to St. Margaret’s Roman Catholic Church in Middle Village, which will give it to people in need.

“Today’s kids are all concerned about self,” Krzewski said. “We want to have a good time, but we stress ‘you must give back.’ It lets them know that there is more out there than just themselves.”

Krzewski asks parents interested in signing their children up for the Scout Troop 119 to contact him at 718-894-4099.



VFW hosts parade-goers

| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of VFW Post 885

Marchers in the New York City Veterans Day Parade were hosted by the John Vincent Daniels Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 2813 after the procession’s conclusion on November 11.

Members of the United States Army Transportation Group based out of Fort Totten, many of whom recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq, and Boy Scouts from Sunnyside’s Troop 309 visited the post, located at 51-27 Queens Boulevard in Woodside, after participating in the parade.

During the event, which included a buffet for guests, Boy Scouts interacted with soldiers, including VFW Post 2813 Senior Vice Commander Eddie Avila, an Iraq War veteran and teacher in the New York City public school system.