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In the rank of eagles

Posted: October 26, 2008 6:23 p.m.
Updated: December 28, 2008 5:00 a.m.

On Saturday, Oct. 4, three local Boy Scouts, Jonathan Sprott, John Kasum and Benjamin Kasum were elevated to the rank of Eagle, becoming part of an elite group that has produced many great leaders.

In addition to their Eagle medals and certificates, the honorees also received letters from many dignitaries including Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton, Vice President Dick Cheney, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and many others. The honorees were personally presented a certificate from the city of Santa Clarita by Mayor Bob Kellar. Congressman Howard McKeon sent flags flown over the Capitol in Washington D.C.

The ceremony began with an introduction by Master of Ceremonies Tim Silver, former Scoutmaster for Troop 228 sponsored by Blessed Kateri Catholic Church in Saugus.

A prayer was offered by Santa Clarita United Methodist Associate Pastor Rachel Allen, followed by the lighting of a special memory candle in honor of John and Ben's mom and grandmother, who recently passed away from cancer.

The challenges the scouts faced while attempting to complete their projects were astronomical, as all three boys had mothers who were battling terminal cancer.

John and Ben had to stop their projects on several occasions as their mother struggled to survive. Jonathan's mom has been battling a rare terminal cancer called leiomyosarcoma for four years.

All three boys persevered and completed their projects, each of which provides a significant contribution to our community. Jonathan Sprott's project was to convert an unused piece of land into a prayer/meditation garden for Santa Clarita United Methodist Church.This garden was dedicated to the memory of the church's friend and music director of 20 years, Grant Smith, who passed away from colon cancer in 2006.

Volunteers from the church and Boy Scouts prepared existing soil, planted new plants, installed cages around the plants for gopher control, laid mulch (donated by Green Landscape Nursery), installed flagstone (donated by American Builders Supply Inc.), repaired sprinkler heads, cleaned and repaired existing safety lighting, hung a cross and dedication plaque on the garden retaining wall, and installed a new bench.

John Kasum, with the help of many fellow Boy Scouts in Troop 228 and volunteers, replaced and planted more than 40 trees and installed an entire irrigation system at the Placerita Canyon State Natural Area Park.

He chose this project because the park had been devastated by two forest fires. His Eagle project took more than 200 hours of effort to complete successfully.

Benjamin Kasum, along with volunteers and Boy Scouts from Troop 2, planted more than 30 trees to beautify the entrance of the Vasquez Rocks State Historical Park. His Eagle project took more than 200 hours of effort to complete successfully.

Proud parents are Pamela and Robert Sprott, Eric Kasum and the late Jill Reynertson Kasum. Once an Eagle Scout, always an Eagle Scout!


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