By Misty DUPLESSIS
Every year the Montrose Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce awards community members who have exceeded the Chamber’s expectations by supporting Montrose residents as well as local businesses. This year, Montrose Boy Scout Troop 317 has the honor of being named Organization of the Year.
The Troop was chosen for the prestigious award based on its commitment and dedication to serving local chambers with community events.
MVCC member Melinda Clarke commended the troop for always being available to the Chamber and explained how a group is usually chosen for such commendations.
“[The award goes to] volunteer organizations that exemplify the highest ideals of serving the community in the fields of charitable, educational or social endeavors,” Clarke explained. Troop 317’s ideals are perfectly aligned with the above requirements.
The MVCC executive board and the board of directors voted and approved, naming the Troop awardees after board member Harriet Hammons worked with the boys in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
“They take on very important jobs and handle them perfectly. They are always ready, willing and able. Troop 371 truly exemplifies the Boy Scout Motto, ‘Be Prepared,’” said Clarke of the Troop’s eagerness to give back to the neighborhood. She also mentioned that they are always professional and polished in the way they perform their tasks.
Last year the group volunteered in the Montrose Christmas Parade, Oktoberfest celebration, National Night Out, the quarterly Art Walks held on Honolulu Avenue and the Veterans Day service held by the Chamber. They installed the historical plaques in the shopping park planters and even built the memorial bench at a La Crescenta park.
In addition to lending a hand around town, they help other organizations such as the La Crescenta Women’s Club and the Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley and give assistance to Deukmejian Park, Griffith Park’s Little Steamers and the experimental forest in the Verdugo Mountains as well as the feeding the homeless program Brother’s Helpers.
The Troop’s 30 scouts, Scoutmaster Rich Toyon and seven assistant Scoutmasters work hard throughout the year and in return they let off steam with much-deserved monthly camping trips and adventure outings
Troop 317 is no stranger to positive recognition. Each year the group places in the top five spots of all Troops in the council who participate at the annual Camporee and has also won the Baden-Powell award for its past record and Scout spirit.
Scoutmaster Toyon has also personally received the Scoutmaster Award of Merit for his years of community service. He credits the Troop’s success to his dedicated team.
“I can’t help but think we have the best leadership and Scouts anywhere in the Crescenta Valley,” Toyon said of his team.
Toyon, along with some of the Troop members, will be presented with a plaque in their name tonight, Jan. 20, during the MVCC Chamber Installation Dinner. This year Troop 317 will also have the special privilege of presenting the color guard ceremony to officially open the awards presentation ceremony.