Service club asks community to help scouts fund a hiking trip of a lifetime.

February 7, 2016
Boy scout Stephen Boyko assembles a bench.

Boy scout Stephen Boyko assembles a bench.

Story and photos contributed by Ron Beeber.

PENTWATER — The Pentwater Service Club is calling on area individuals and organizations to join it in helping Boy Scout Troop 1145 raise the final $4,000 needed so eight local scouts and five adults can undertake a rugged, 12-day backpacking trek at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico this summer.

“We’re down to the ‘final four,’” said Scoutmaster Rick Quinn. “Troop 1145 set an ambitious goal two years ago to raise $15,000, so every scout selected to attend in 2016 could do so. But each participant must buy up to $300 worth of special camping gear.    

Boy scouts Name Combs, left, and Stephen Boyko.

Boy scouts Name Combs, left, and Stephen Boyko.

“So with these high initial equipment costs that each participant must shoulder, we challenged ourselves to raise $15,000 for transportation and camp fees.” But while boy scout troops can accept non-tax deductible financial gifts from individuals and organizations, troops can’t solicit them.  Therefore, Troop 1145 has had to conduct a number of fundraising projects such as spaghetti dinners and pancake breakfasts, Christmas tree sales, and various cleanup projects.

“We’re very proud of our scouts and their families for getting so close to their goal,” said Service Club President Ron Christians, who attended the most recent spaghetti dinner. “But despite their best efforts that raised $11,000, our scouts are still $4,000 short.”         

“If we don’t raise the final $4,000 and pay the balance due on March 1, four of our scouts and two of our fine adult counselors won’t get to make the trek that includes hiking dozens of miles in elevations of up to 12,000 feet; setting up camp in a new location each day; and participating in activities such as climbing and rappelling, rifle and shotgun shooting, fishing, and horseback riding,” added Quinn.

“So the Pentwater Service Club is happy to help jumpstart the final fundraising effort, and we hope the community will step forward as well,” said Christians. Club members voted Feb. 4 to earmark a total of $1,000 from its food salesPSC - boy scouts - 2 proceeds and contributions to its Pentwater Service Club Fund at the Community Foundation for Oceana County.

“For each of the first 20 contributions of $100 or more made, either our club, or our club’s fund at the community foundation, will donate another $50. We hope the club’s challenge grant will generate $1,000 from us, and $3,000 from others, to provide our scouts with this tremendous learning experience,” said Christians.

There are two ways that tax deductible contributions to help Troop 1145 can be made, Christians explained. First, a check — made payable to “Community Foundation for Oceana County,” with the words “Pentwater Service Club Fund/Scout Trek” indicated on the check’s memo line — can be mailed to the Community Foundation for Oceana County, PO Box 367, Shelby, MI 49455. It should be received by Feb. 20.

Or, contributions to support the troop also can be charged to a personal credit card and made online through the Pentwater Service Club Fund at https://cffmc.org//give/online-giving?f=3707.  Indicate that it’s an “honorary gift” and a “one-time donation.” Enter “Boy Scout Trek” in the “Tell us why” field. This also should be done by Feb. 20.

For more information, see www.philmontscoutranch.org, the Boy Scout Troop 1145 page on Facebook, or www.serviceclub.org.

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