Paving the way to his Eagle Scout rank


May 12, 2002|By Rosalie Falter | Rosalie Falter,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

RYAN CONLON of Boy Scout Troop 447, who has earned the rank of Eagle Scout by completing a project to help students at St. Philip Neri School, will be honored at an Eagle Scout Award Dinner on Saturday at St. Philip Neri hall.

Scouts who aspire to the rank of Eagle Scout are required to demonstrate their leadership and organizational skills while conducting a project of their choice in the community.

Ryan noticed that when students from St. Philip Neri School are dismissed and wait for their parents to pick them up ,they stood on grass along a curb. Realizing that a sidewalk would be a more comfortable place for them to wait, especially after a rain, Ryan decided he would make that his project.

Ryan started his plans in October. His first task was to get approval from Monsignor Francis X. Zorback, pastor of St. Philip, Scoutmaster Herman Frome, unit commander John Squire and District Advancement Committee member Les W. Metzger.

He solicited money and materials for the sidewalk. The St. Philip Neri Men's Club donated money, and Home Depot donated materials. Ryan said the cost of the 41-foot sidewalk came to $492.73. With the help of adults and Scouts from his troop, Ryan supervised the project and it was completed in 10 days over the Christmas holiday.

Ryan, 18, started out as a Scout in Tiger Cub Pack 843. In the fifth grade, he joined Boy Scout Troop 447. He has served as a scribe, troop historian, patrol leader and twice as senior patrol leader. He attended Overlook Elementary School in Linthicum and is a senior at Cardinal Gibbons High School. He runs cross country and indoor track.

Ryan has played the violin for nine years and for the past year has attended the Peabody Preparatory School. He is a member of the Anne Arundel Community College Symphony Orchestra. He also plays the violin and keyboard/piano as part of the Praise Band at his high school.

He is a member of St. Philip Neri Parish and helps as a teachers aide in the religion classes there. He also sings in the choir at St. Benedict Church in Baltimore.

Through the Scouts, he also earned the religion medal, Ad Alatare Dei (To the Altar of God). Ryan also works part time at Camden Yards with the grounds crew.

Alarmers to the rescue

When Ray Neal Jr. heard on the dispatch radio that the Anne Arundel County Collapse Unit was called to the recent tornado disaster in La Plata, he immediately offered the services of the Anne Arundel Alarmers Association.

Neal is president of the Alarmers Association, a group of men and women volunteers who respond to emergencies and support firefighters and police officers. He got a crew together and they went to La Plata for a week to help cook and serve food to relief workers, firefighters and police officers.

"We cooked a lot of food, some of it donated by local organizations and restaurants. It was very rewarding to see everyone pitch in," he said.

It was an incredible effort, according to Neal, because many of the 39 Alarmers are volunteers with full-time jobs, yet they put in many hours in Southern Maryland. Two of the three vehicles were pressed into service for the relief effort: Canteen Wagon 3, a jeep and the association's 40-foot-long mobile canteen with a medical support unit inside. This unit was built by the Ranger Fire Truck Co. to the specification of the Alarmers and is said to be the only unit of its kind in the United States.

The group's third unit stayed back and responded to two calls in Anne Arundel County while the other units were away.

Neal said he couldn't help but compare this emergency to the tunnel fire they responded to in Baltimore last year. At the tunnel fire, they put in long hours but were able to take breaks. In La Plata, they manned their posts 24 hours a day for a week.

Initially, Neal said, the Anne Arundel Alarmers were the only group serving food to the relief workers. "I know we were really appreciated. People there were surprised that we stayed as long as we did," he said.

Anne Arundel Alarmers Association was founded in 1958. Two of the original founders, brothers Al and Wilber Brandt, are still active members of the organization.

Anne Arundel Alarmers Association is a member of the International Fire Buffs Association Inc. Meetings are held the first Tuesday of the month at their hall in Ferndale. Information: Ruth Altvater, 410-761-4679.

Woman's Club

The Woman's Club of Linthicum Heights will hold its annual awards luncheon and installation of officers for 2002-2004 on Tuesday at La Fontaine Bleu in Glen Burnie. The gathering will be held from noon to 12:30 p.m. followed by luncheon.

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