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Franklin Square scouts step up for veterans

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It started with a group text message last week, when Nicholas Talamo, president of Franklin Square-based Venturing Crew 2718, asked his fellow troop members if they would like to raise money to buy food for disabled veterans who are stuck at home. They then each donated $10 towards the cause.

“We figured, ‘Why not help out other veterans, who may not have anyone around?” Talamo explained. He was inspired to start the fundraiser, he said, by his blind grandfather, who himself is a veteran, “and so we try to help him as much as we can.”

The Venturing Crew, a program of the BSA, is sponsored by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2718. The members, between the ages of 13 - 21, focus on outdoor activities and sportsmanship. The members of the VFW, meanwhile, provide a space for the scouts to meet and ensure that the leadership is following the guidelines of the BSA. 

As a result, Crew Leader Charlie Grippaldi said, “We’ve always helped out the veterans.”

On Saturday, Talamo and his father, Andrew, dropped off food to four local veterans and their aids. The duo rang the veterans’ doorbells, Nick said, and left the food for them.

“It might be only curbside,” Grippaldi said, “but they’re getting food.”

The troop is now raising more money to buy other local veterans food. Grippaldi posted about the efforts on April 4, writing, “The youths are always thinking of others and are setting an example of what it is to be good members of our community … As your leader, I am proud of all of you.”

By Tuesday, the troop raised more than $500 to buy food from local merchants. “It’s really taken off,” Grippaldi said, adding that the troop will continue “feeding the veterans until the money runs out.”

To donate, visit www.Crew2718.com and hit the ‘Donate’ button on the right side. Donations can be made by credit card or Paypal.