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Chris Meyer

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David Szilezy
Eagle Scout 

David Laurence Szilezy, Jr. was awarded the Boy Scouts of America’s highest rank, Eagle Scout, during a Court of Honor on February 15, 2009 at the St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in Apex, NC.   David is a member of Troop 216 in Cary and is the son of David and Cheryl Szilezy of Apex.  He officially earned the rank of Eagle Scout on September 10, 2008 at the age of 17.

David is Troop 216’s 64th Eagle Scout since it was founded in 1978.  The troop is led by Scoutmaster Chuck Gay and is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus at Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic Church. 

Family, friends and scouts came together to celebrate David’s achievement in attaining the rank of Eagle Scout.  Ronald & Marie Lanze and Frank & Rose Wechsler, David’s aunts and uncles came from Allentown, PA for the ceremony along with cousins Deanna Shisslak and Linzi Wotring of Orefield, PA.  A special guest in attendance was John Wasco, Coach of the Cardinal Gibbons Lacrosse team.  Mr. Gregory Blum, former Troop 216 Star Scout, was the Master of Ceremonies.

The ceremony opened with the presentation of colors by Eagle Scouts Chris Becker and Michael Becker.  Fr. Donald Staib, of St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in Apex delivered the invocation.  Eagle Scout Gary Meyer led the Pledge of Allegiance and Eagle Scout Eric Blum gave the Roll Call of Eagle.  David's Cub Scout leader, Terry Slate, described with pride David's trail through Cub Scouts and into Boy Scouts.  Eagle Advisor, Mark Shaefer, provided a summary of David's  Eagle Scout project and then presented David with a flag that had been flown over the United States Capitol Building in David's honor.  Mr. Charles Fossett, the Past Exaulted Ruler of the Cary Apex Elks Lodge Number 2798, presented a certificate and flag, Mr. Keith Biegert, Knights of Columbus member, presented David with an engraved pen and Lt. Col. Richard Torres presented David with an Army Commander's Coin.

Deacon George Junginger, of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Cary, concluded the ceremony with the benediction.  In recognition of his achievement, David also received letters of commendation from NC Senator Marc Basnight, Senator John McCain, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Bishop Michael Burbidge, Univeristy of Georgia Head Football Coach Mark Richt, and Wagner College Men's Lacrosse Coach Jason Rife.

David began his scouting career in 1997 as a Tiger Cub in Thompson Station, Tenessee.  Upon moving to Apex, NC, David joined Cub Scout Pack 312, Den 9 in Apex, where he subsequently earned all of the Cub Scout ranks and received Cub Scouting's highest award, the Arrow of Light, in March 2002.

During his tenure with Troop 216, David earned the World Conservation Award in 2005 and the Ad Altare Dei Catholic Religious award in 2004.  In July 2006, David traveled to the Philmont Scout Ranch, a high adventure Boy Scout Camp in  Cimarron, New Mexico, where he spent 10 days backpacking over 65 miles with several other Troop 216 scouts and leaders.  After completing a conservation project at Philmont, David also received his 50 miler award.  Camping, canoeing and hiking are among David's favorite activities with the troop as well as camping at Camp Raven Knob in Mount Airy, NC.  In order to reach the rank of Eagle Scout, 21 merit badges must be earned, 12 of which are Eagle required.  David has earned 25 merit badges.  

The BSA program heavily emphasizes leadership skills, and thorughout his career with Troop 216, David has held numerous leadership positions, including Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Patrol Leader, Assistant Patrol Leader and Instructor.  As required by the Boy Scouts of America, a candidate for Eagle Scout must plan, develop, and give leadership to others while providing a service to the community.  For his project, David drafted plans and then oversaw the construction of a spirit board which provides a place to post information to the school community at Salem Middle School in Apex, NC.  More than twenty scouts and several adults participated in the construction of the spirit board which now stands at the entrance to the Salem Middle School sports field.

Recently graduated from Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh, NC, David was a member of the National Honor Society, A/B Honor Roll and the Varsity Lacrosse Team.  He also earned the North Carolina Scholar Award and the Presidential Academic Fitness Award.  David has accepted academic and athletic scholarships to Wagner College in Staten Island, NY where he will be majoring in Business and playing Division I lacrosse for the Wagner Seahawks.


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