It's been over a year since Boy Scout Troop 291 discovered the devastating news that they had been the victim of embezzlement. All their hard-earned money for summer camps and the National Jamboree was lost. It was heartbreaking, but today it has a happy ending.
In the first weeks of their loss, the community of Lodi came forward with overwhelming support, and many fundraising efforts were undertaken. There were auctions, raffles, concerts, spaghetti dinners and special events held on behalf of our boys. Our Scouts were present at each event and worked hard, alongside their community, to earn back what was lost.
The exciting news is, with the support of so many, our Scouts regained their ability to attend summer camps and the National Jamboree. We were proud to send five young men to the National Jamboree in Virginia, and every boy who desired to do so was able to attend summer camp.
Furthermore, our Troop has seen tremendous growth this year with the addition of nine new Scouts. Four of our Scouts have attained the rank of Eagle, Scouting's highest rank, and we're proud to congratulate Jay Andrade, Carlos Andrade, Garrett Heitzman and Alex Zahos for their accomplishment.
And, to everyone's satisfaction, justice has been served regarding the embezzlement.
Troop 291 is fully aware that this would not have been possible without the generous donation of time, money and effort from our great community. Our Scouts learned first-hand the power of faith and working together.
We would especially like to extend our gratitude to the following people and businesses who acted as guardian angels for Troop 291: Officer Andre Belanski and the Lodi Police Department, Jaime Watts and the Lodi Downtown Business Partnership, Pete and Annette Knight of Lodi A&W, Umpqua Bank, The Lodi News-Sentinel, Touch of Mesquite Catering, Lodi Community Church, Tom and Carmella Hoffman of Heritage Oak Winery, Bill Ferrero and Stringin' Along, Salon Sirah, B&T Catering, St. Peter's Lutheran Church, and every citizen who stood behind us and supported us with their prayers and donations.
Troop 291 is extremely proud to be part of the fabric that makes our city such a special place to be. Keep watching these boys, they will make you proud. Thank you, Lodi!
Boy Scout Troop 291