Tag Archives: Floyd Bennet Field

Howard Beach brothers to soar as Eagle Scouts

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

Soon, parents Thomas and Andrea Mercatante will have three eagles inside their Howard Beach nest.

Thomas Mercatante Jr., 18, along with his 16-year-old twin brothers, Anthony and Andrew, of Troop 139 will all become Eagle Scouts at the same ceremony on May 1 — a rarity that three siblings make it at once.

“It’s a great feeling to have that,” said proud pop, Thomas Sr., who’s also an assistant scout master.

“To see them work so hard to get to where they are, I take great pride in that. It’s an accomplishment that they’re going to look back on and say, ‘Wow, I really did this.’ It’s a good thing to have, a good thing to do.”

To reach scouting’s top rank, a young man must earn a certain number of merit badges and organize a community service effort, known as an eagle project.

For Thomas, this was a cleanup at Floyd Bennet Field; for Andrew, a similar project at Frank Charles Memorial Park; and Anthony, a sneaker drive in which he collected around 600 pair of shoes for Nike — the rubber from which will be used for gym mats and running tracks.

“It feels like we did it as a family,” said Thomas Jr., whose work, like Andrew’s, was washed away by Sandy. Anthony, who compiled his donated sneakers in the family’s basement, was able to get them out about a week before the storm flooded the home.

The youngest Mercatantes are two years ahead of schedule in making eagle — something they attribute to good leadership in their troop and capitalizing on merit badge opportunities on camping trips.

Although both Andrew and Anthony have capped out their work with the troops before they had to, both plan to come back and help whenever they can.

“It’s kind of surreal,” said Andrea Mercatante, who said her sons might not even yet realize the weight of their accomplishment. “It is an important accomplishment outside of scouting. [People] look at it and they say, ‘They’re responsible, and they’re trustworthy,’ and everything that the scouting oath is they embody. They really do.”

When Sandy started, all three boys sprang into action and ensured any survival necessities were in place, the proud mom recounted. The trio gathered candles, sleeping bags and flashflights in preperation for a storm surge. But most of all, they put their mother at ease.

“They all got together. ‘This is what we’ve got to do Ma, don’t worry.’ They were ready,” said Andrea Mercatante. “And they were calm and they were confident and me seeing that makes me know that they’re ready for anything that comes their way. You could throw a curve ball and they’re going to catch it.”



VIDEO: Two kayakers rescued after fall in Jamaica Bay

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Police rescued two kayakers who fell into the waters of Jamaica Bay yesterday.

NYPD Air Sea rescue responded to a 9-1-1 call around 3 p.m. and split in two to retrieve the men, both 32. Two divers recovered the first man and transported him to Floyd Bennet Field. The man was then transferred to Kings County Hospital where he is in stable condition.

The second kayaker swam to an anchored boat in the harbor. A detective from the Emergency Service Unit saw the distressed boater and responded. He too swam to the boat and aided the man.

Both are being treated for hypothermia and listed in stable condition.

Video: NYPD