La Salle District – Boy Scouts of America
The LaSalle District of the Boy Scouts of America held its annual Leaders Awards Banquet in the Formosa Family Center. Rev. James Amerson, Pastor of the United Methodist Church and Chairman of the LaSalle District, welcomed and thanked everyone for their hard work during the previous year. He also spoke about the community support received and thanked various businesses and organizations, including Formosa for hosting the dinner in their beautiful Family Center.
Two special groups of Cub Scouts were also recognized. First, Cindy Shilinga recognized the three Packs who sold the most popcorn as a fund raiser. They include Pack 422 from Mission Valley who sold $8,385, Pack 101of Inez, whose boys sold $ $20,115 and Pack 364 from Victoria who sold $30,175. The three top Troops, all from Victoria were Troop 364 who sold $9,290, Troop 104 who sold $10,335 and Troop 363 who sold $11,695. Cindy also pointed out that the Boy Scouts collected 5,385 pounds of food for the local food banks last year.
Then Dave Kouba introduced the eighteen boys who earned their Eagle Scout Award. They included Eric Mansker, Troop 363; Case Wayne Stillman, Troop 135; Christian Schneider, Troop 137; Josh Morgan, Troop 368; Brian Wayne Bubela, Troop135; Ian Lueckemeyer, Troop 108; Keith Jahn, Troop 137; Chance Poulton, Troop 135; John Cole Wozniak, Troop 363; Shane Van Thedford III, Troop 135; Steven Sudheimer, Troop 364; William “Billy” Pugh, Troop 101; Nathan Marrriga, Troop 101; Harrison Garrett, Troop 363; Juan Cabrera Jr., Troop361; Nicolas Garza, Troop 364; and Kyle Hardegree of Troop 363. Through their combined efforts, these Eagle Scouts saved the taxpayers of the LaSalle District $35,125.30 in tax dollars with their projects.
Pack 116 from Port O’Connor was recognized as coming in second in Advancement and third in Membership Retention, which go hand in hand. Each boy retained from the previous year does not have to be recruited again.
James W. West Endowment Awards were then presented to Mr. Mike Deming, Rev. James Amerson and Cindy Shilinga, for their work as exemplary scouts.
The Cub Scout Award of Excellence, a district award, was presented by Susan Orr to Beverly and Richard Seals of Pack 364, Kelley Drastata of Pack 105, and Fred Mendez of Pack 106.
The Distinguished Assistant Scoutmaster awards, presented by Ralph Belter, went to Pierce Thedford Jr. of Troop 135, Charles Bonorden of Troop 364, Cindy Bacak of Troop 135, and Wayne Bubela of Troop 135.
Ronnie Williams presented the LaSalle District Award, to Michelle “Shelly” Larson for numerous Leadership positions in several units and Dr. Art Munford for time and effort he put into the new LaSalle District organization. The next went to Cindy Shilinga for the fine job she did as District Information Co-coordinator. The Award also went to Larry Ray Thompson for the work he placed in the College Commissioner of Science, for assisting on Wood Badge staff.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the District Award of Merit. Dave Kouba, District Advancement Chairman, presented one of these coveted awards to Benjamin Huante of Troop 364, sponsored by Our Lady of Victory Cathedral in Victoria.
Ben and his wife, Nora have two sons, Matt and David, both Eagle Scouts. Ben’s primary registration is as an Assistant Scoutmaster in Troop 364. His career began in 1988 when he followed his first son in the Cub Scout program. He served double duty when he had one boy in the Cubs and the younger in the Boy Scouts. Ben served as a Den leader, Advancement Chairman, Weblos Leader and several other positions in the Pack. In the troop he participated in numerous camp-outs and summer camps. He attended Philmont Scout Ranch in 2002 and 2005. He served as Outdoor/Activities chairman, Committee Chairman and as Assistant Scoutmaster from 1999 to present. He is a Brotherhood member of the OA. He is active in the Catholic Committee on Scouting, where he received the Bronze Pelican and recently the St. George Award. He is also a Member at Large of the LaSalle District. Ben is employed as a reliability Engineer at Invista for the last 29 years.
The second District Award of Merit went to Helena Edgley of Pack 366. She joined scouting when their son joined in 2005 and went to get her training as Day Camp Director. She also completed the Trainers Edge, Tiger Cub Den Leader, Wolf Den Leader, Bear and Weblos Den Leader. She received her Cub Scout Fast Start in 2005 and her Cubmaster training in 2007.
Her service to Scouting includes holding all of the above positions she trained for. In addition she became Cub Day Camp Director in 2009 and 2010. She is currently Cubmaster for Pack 366 and a LaSalle District Committee Member.
Helena is a CCD Teacher at Our Lady of Victory, Girl Scout cookie chairman and Girl Scout Leaders Assistant. She is a Registered Nurse at Citizens Hospital