Boy Scouts honor local Eagles and community leaders at awards reception

Eagle Scout Andrew Martins, Rev John Branson, Dr. Alan Stolz, Westonite José Feliciano, Tom Santa, and Eagle Scout Stephen DeLay, Jr. among those honored by Boy Scouts at the Commitment to Community Distinguished Citizen Award Reception.Eight community leaders and Eagle Scouts from Westport and Weston were honored by the Boy Scouts at the annual Commitment to Community Distinguished Awards Reception at the Continental Manor in Norwalk, on Sunday, April 29.

This year’s honorees included Grammy Award-winning singer, guitarist and Westonite José Feliciano, Rev. John Branson, pastor of Christ and Holy Trinity Church, Dr. Alan Stolz, a 68-year veteran Scout still involved with Troop 100 and Explorer Post 601, and Tom Santa, CEO of Santa Energy Corporation.

Mr. Feliciano also performed in a special musical program for guests.

The honorees were selected by a committee of volunteers for their outstanding community service to many worthy organizations, as well as their esteemed reputations, which align with the values of scouting.

“We are all blessed in so many ways. I think about what so many people gave to us when we were youngsters — coaches, Scoutmasters, teachers and mentors who appeared when we most needed them, and how we have been shaped by their values. We have that responsibility, to pass it along to a new generation,” said Mr. Branson in his acceptance remarks. “I am grateful that a new generation is rising up as we see in these young men, who will have stellar careers in large part because of what has been given to them. That is our legacy.”

“In my heart I am a real Scout,” said Mr. Feliciano. “I believe in what the Scouts stand for.”

Each of the four local troops nominated an Eagle Scout to be recognized as well. Stephen DeLay Jr. from Weston Troop 788, Drew Angus from Westport Troop 39, Andrew Jackson Martins from Westport Troop 100 and Peter Morrison from Westport Troop 36 were all nominated by their troops for their outstanding leadership and community service, as well as their good character as reflected in the Scout Oath and Law.

More than $32,000 was raised at the dinner to support local scouting programs in Fairfield and New Haven counties.

The Commitment to Community Distinguished Citizen Award Reception has been held since 2004. Past honorees include former Weston First Selectman Woody Bliss.

The annual fund-raiser helps support more than 300 Scouts in Westport and Weston as well as nearly 23,000 young people in Fairfield, New Haven and parts of Hartford counties, which makeup the Connecticut Yankee Council, local chapter of the Boys Scouts of America.

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