Eagle Scout Antonio Alessi Honored

Antonio Alessi immediately after his Board of Review on July 25, 2022 and receiving his BSA Eagle Scout RankEagle Scout Antonio Alessi was recognized at his Eagle Scout Court of Honor held on December 3, 2022 at Dryland United Church of Christ in Nazareth, PA.

The formal ceremony started with the presentation of colors performed by Antonio’s Troop 76 and opened with an invocation performed by Shane Serrao. The ceremony was led the Bernard Marth, Antonio’s Eagle Scout Coach and officiated by Scoutmaster Gerald Eldridge. Dignitaries included Nazareth Mayor Lance Colondo along with the beneficiary of the project, Nazareth Area Food Bank, represented by president Nancy Madara and retired director James Byrnes.

Master of Ceremony Bernard Marth

Master of Ceremony Bernard Marth

Mr. Marth, representing the Boy Scouts of America, summarized the finding from the formal Board of Review, “Antonio has been a committed scout throughout his 12-year scouting career, balancing scouting, academics, church, and family. Antonio is driven to succeed and has done so in all facets of his life.

  • Antonio was the youngest scout in the troop to achieve First Class in his first year and Life Scout in his second year. 
  • Antonio was selected by his scouting peers to be inducted into the Order of the Arrow, the Boy Scouts of America Honor Society.
  • Academically, Antonio has maintained High Honors, is a member of the National Honor Society, and is recognized as a High School Scholar. 
  • On top of these achievements, Antonio has successfully completed his Eagle Scout Project.”
Antonio's twin sister Olivia Alessi reading poems while their parents are recognized

Antonio’s twin sister Olivia Alessi reading poems while their parents are recognized

Antonio’s Eagle Scout Project is the PopupFoodDrive program to benefit the Nazareth Area Food Bank and beyond. The website was founded to give people the training and tools necessary to host their own food drive at a time and place convenient to them, their friends, or their affinity group. The goal is to increase awareness, donations, and expose people to volunteering opportunities at Food Charities. Antonio’s project is designed so it lives on through others. 

Mr. March continued, “The Eagle Scout badge is recognition of the National Court of Honor, presented through the local council and local court of honor. Not every Scout, can qualify for the high rank of Eagle because:

  • The physical requirements are strenuous as set forth in the required merit badges.
  • Mental requirements are unusual and require much more than average intelligence.
  • Perhaps, an even more difficult and more important requirement for the Eagle rank is the personal character of the Scout as reflected in his attitudes toward God and the ideals of Scouting. This is reflected in his cooperation and service to others in church, on the playgrounds, in the home, school, and community. The applicant must have a high degree of the spirit of cheerful service to others which is a basis of good citizenship.

I am happy to report that our investigation reveals that Antonio has qualified in all of the requirements for personal character and good citizenship, in addition to all of the technical requirements for the Eagle rank.”

Antonio Alessi being pinned with the BSA Eagle Scout Ribbon by Scoutmaster Gerald Eldridge at Antonio's Eagle Scout Court of Honor held on December 3, 2022 at Drystone United Church of Christ in Nazareth, PA.

Antonio Alessi being pinned with the BSA Eagle Scout Ribbon by Scoutmaster Gerald Eldridge at Antonio’s Eagle Scout Court of Honor held on December 3, 2022 at Drystone United Church of Christ in Nazareth, PA.

Upon Antonio’s qualification, Scoutmaster Eldridge bestowed upon Antonio the Eagle Scout neckerchief, Eagle Scout Rank Badge, and Eagle Scout Ribbon in recognization of the achievement, and proclaimed “Eagle Scout Antonio Alessi, I wish to congratulate you upon this achievement on behalf of the entire Troop 76 family. We are all extremely proud of your achievement and equally proud of your progress along the Scouting trail. As a small token of our pride in you, it is my honor to present this special neckerchief, emblematic of all Eagle Scouts everywhere, to you. Please wear this with pride in our program and with pride in your personal achievement.”

Antonio pinning an Eagle Scout Mother Pin on his mother Ann Alessi

Antonio pinning an Eagle Scout Mother Pin on his mother Ann Alessi

The ceremony continued with Antonio recognizing the support of his parents, Ann and Eric Alessi, with Eagle Scout Parent Pins, while his twin sister Olivia read An Eagle Mom’s Poem and An Eagle Dad’s Poem.

Antonio used the opportunity to recognize individuals who guided him and helped them along his path to Eagle Scout with a mentor pin. Antonio state “There have been a number of people that have been a significant part of my scouting journey and instrumental in my success.”

  • Mr. Eldridge – Mr. Eldridge is incredibly dedicated. He has always been kind, understanding, and motivating to me. He’s like an uncle to me and I feel that I could always go to him if I ever needed anything. Even after his son Garret aged out of scouting, Mr. Eldridge continues to be there for me throughout my entire Boy Scout career. For these reasons, Mr. Eldridge is the choice for my first mentor.
  • Mr. Marth – Mr. Marth has been part of my Boy Scout career since I joined the troop in in 2016. Even after his younger son Nick aged out, Mr. Marth continued to be part of the troop and my career, serving as my Eagle Coach and providing important guidance for my project, which was a bit different than most.
  • Mr. Richter – Mr. Richter was my first Cubmaster an Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 76 when I crossed over. He’s always made scouting fun. Mr. Richter is a very technical person, like me, but has a whimsical side. He has always been kind to me and believed in me, and has shown me how to have fun during the process.
  • Dr. Pitsko – Dr. Pitsko has been a part of my entire scouting career. He is very smart, organized, and hard working. He is high energy, disciplined, organized, and has an unbelievable work ethic. As a PhD in Systems Engineering, my Engineering Merit Badge Counselor, and host for my Engineering Job Shadow, Dr. Pitsko has been a very influential part of my scouting and academic career.
  • Mike Smull – My Eagle Scout Project was ambitious and included the development of a sophisticated website. I took website design and programming in school, but this was taking things to the next level. I had a vision for the website part of the project, to be designed and developed by scouts. At the same time, I knew I needed guidance from an experienced web developer. Mike is an extremely generous and kind person that mentored me during the project to help assure the project would be a success.
Antonio's Mentors

Antonio’s Mentors from left to right: Bernard Marth, Robert Pitsko, Eric Alessi, Antonio Alessi, Marc Richter, Ann Alessi, Gerald Eldridge

Antonio recognizing his mentors.

Antonio recognizing his mentors.

Antonio stated, “I couldn’t have realized my vision without a team of volunteers that generously donated their valuable time. So, in addition to my parents and mentors, I would also like to thank and recognize everyone in Scouting, mostly from Troop 76, that made my project a success.

Web Team: Jacob Bruce, Jared Dewy, Isaac Kutzura, and Sam Felsted (notably a scout working remotely from Portland, Oregon — very rare for an Eagle Scout project)

Graphic Design Team: Olivia Alessi, Eric Alessi, and Mike Smull

Build Team: Ann Alessi, Adam Kutzura, Adam Lackey, Ari Bozikis, Brody Muthard, Gerald Eldridge, Isaac Kutzura, Jonathan Bright, Lee Kazista, Manny Kazista, Mena Kazista, and Teddy Kazista

Fund Raising Team: Christina Lankey, Craig Vakiener, Carrie Kutzura, Jeremy Bruce, Roshen Gandotra, Ben Sarnoff, Brett Sarnoff, and Ryan Wack

Lastly,” Antonio concluded, “I want to thank Nancy Madara, President, and Jim Byrnes, retired Director, of the Nazareth Area Food Bank who took the time to meet with me and believed in my vision.

Antonio Alessi with Nazareth Mayor Lance Colondo at Antonio's Eagle Scout Court of Honor on December 3, 2022 at Dryland United Church of Christ in Nazareth PA, as Antonio receives federal, state, and local citations in recognization of his achievements.Next the Honorable Mayor of Nazareth Lance Colondo presented a letter of recognization from U.S. Senator Bob Casey, Jr., along with citations of merit from U.S. Congresswoman Susan Wild, Pennsylvania State Representative Joe Emrick, and Mayor of Nazareth Lance Colondo.

The ceremony ended with a reception and dinner hosted by Antonio’s family.