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    Staten Island Boy Scout buys and builds bikes for families of deployed New York National Guard Soldiers’

    Local Scout raises money for bikes, donates to deployed Soldiers’ families

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Katie Gray | 2nd Lt. Neysia Scott (rear), a member of the 369th Sustainment Brigade, and Keiry...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Katie Gray 

    New York National Guard

    STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.--A Staten Island Boy Scout raised $2,700 to buy 50 bikes for children of New York Army National Guard Soldiers currently deployed to Kuwait as part of his path to Scouting’s Eagle rank.

    On Sunday, Oct. 30, James Seagrift, the son of a New York Army National Guard officer, and other members of Boy Scout Troop 37 gathered at the Guard’s Staten Island Armory to put those bikes together and present them to members of the 369th Sustainment Brigade Family Readiness Group.

    He picked this project, James said, because he remembers what it’s like to have a family member deployed.

    “When my dad went to Afghanistan years ago, I received a bike from the [Family Readiness Group],” he said. “I figured for my Eagle Scout project I would give back to show my appreciation for the children’s sacrifice.”

    Born from that memory, James practiced and pitched the idea to his troop leaders when it came time for him to complete his project. After they approved, he began asking for donations from local businesses earlier this past summer.

    Scouts working on the Eagle Scout badge must plan and execute a project that helps the community.

    “It was weird asking people for money, but as I went up and down Victory Boulevard a few times it got easier and I raised about $2700,” he said.

    His father, Maj. Ian Seagriff, an Operations Officer with the 42nd Infantry Division, was a little shocked that his son held on to the idea for so long.

    “I’m extremely proud of him; he’s worked hard for this and it’s for a good cause, and it’s not the same Eagle project that’s usually done,” Maj. Seagriff said.

    “He could be home playing video games or doing whatever and he’s really trying to give back to his community and do the right thing— pay it forward—which is one of the things they try to teach in Scouts.”

    Keiry Vargas, the Family Readiness Group Leader for the 369th, said, “It’s great to see that kids this age want to give back to people, to the community.”

    The bikes will be presented at a later Christmas party, and the Family Readiness Group hopes to raise money for another 50 bikes by then.

    James’ only regret: “I wish that I could have raised a little more money so I could have a bought a helmet for each bike.”



    Date Taken: 10.30.2016
    Date Posted: 11.01.2016 11:18
    Story ID: 213447
    Location: STATEN ISLAND , NY, US 
    Hometown: STATEN ISLAND, NY, US

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