DONALD ZUREK '13
EAGLE SCOUT BADGE
What do Donnie Zurek '13, Academy Award film director Steve Spielberg, former CIA Director and
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Stephen Breyer, Astronaut and the first man to walk on the moon Neil Armstrong, Walmart founder Sam Walton, professional Hall of Fame basketball player and Senator from New Jersey Bill Bradley, and the 38th president of the United States Gerald Ford have in common with
At first blush it might seem the above is a misprint given that Donnie is only 18 and just graduated from Naperville Central High School last month. But when you put your Math hat on and look for the common denominator, it quickly comes into focus as all of those mentioned in the preceding paragraph have earned the Eagle Scout of Honor which Donald John Zurek received on May 21 at the Grace United Methodist Church in Naperville.
Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program division of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Since it was first awarded to Arthur Rose Eldred on August 21, 1912, Eagle Scout has been earned by more than two million young men.I
In the words of the Eagle Scout Promise, Eagles do their best each day to make their training an example, their rank and their influence country strongly for better Scouting and for better citizenship in their troop, in their community, and in their contacts with other people. To this they pledge their sacred honor.
Among the steps a candidate must complete include earning at least 21 merit badges and demonstrating Scout Spirit, leadership, and service. The requirements also include an Eagle Scout Service Project where the Scout must further demonstrate service and leadership.
Don began his journey when he became a Boy Scout in 2010. He then advanced to Tenderfoot (November 2010), Second Class (May, 2012), First Class (September, 2013), Star (March, 2014), Life (September, 2014) and finally Eagle (February, 2017). He was also an Assistant Patrol Leader from April, 2014 through November, 2015 and later a Quartermaster.
Along his Scouting journey, he earned merit badges in archery, camping, canoeing, citizenship in the community, nation, and world, communication, cooking , environmental science, family life, fingerprinting, first aid, fishing, kayaking, lifesaving, personal fitness, personal management, photography, railroading, rifle shooting, small boat sailing, space exploration, swimming, and wilderness survival.
The final prerequisite before the Eagle Board of Review endorses the candidate's worthiness and eligibility by verifying the completion all of the requirements is a service project. While a Life Scout, one must plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any house of worship, any school, or which benefits the general community.
Don chose to build four portable, sturdy, and attractive looking benches for Abbey Farms, a non-profit farm run by the Monks of Marmion Abbey (Aurora), to use on the patio outside their events building and in their play area for parents to sit on. All proceeds from Abbey Farms enable the continuation of the various ministries performed by the Monks of Marmion Abbey.
"I would not be standing here today and none of this would have been possible without the love and support of my parents," said Donny. He went on to thank the many adults from Boy Scout Troop 555 for their encouragement, patience, influence, and belief in him along his journey as well as some of his baseball coaches.
Other Saints Peter and Paul School alumni who find themselves in this rarefied company by attaining this status in recent years include:
Adam Alongi '04 Ryan Will '10
Anthony Carmignani '04 Andrew Jaseckas '11
Nathan Alongi '06 Jake Shields '12
Daniel Carmignani '06 Colin Rivard '12
Patrick F. Gallagher '08 Brendan Zdunek '12
Stephen Macenas '08 Nicholas Brouch '13
"It says a lot about the caliber of these boys, and all of the families that have enrolled children in Saints Peter and Paul School," said Kurt Rivard, Colin's father and an Eagle Scout himself, "when the school has averaged one Eagle Scout per year over the past dozen years."
There is a lifetime ahead of each of these boys to make their mark in the world. However, given their scouting experience, family values, and Catholic identity formed in part by Saints Peter and Paul School, it wouldn't be surprising if they, too, would one day be listed as one of our nation's most prominent and famous Eagle Scouts.
Please pray for the following members of the Saints Peter and Paul School community who recently passed into eternity:
John Bowler - grandfather of Amy '94, Kevin '98, Kathleen '00, and
Aubrey Vance - grandfather of Elizabeth Kleiser '05, Eric Kleiser '07,
and Scott Kleiser '11
Rosemary Peebles - grandmother of Jack Hill '14, Claire Hill '15, and
Brenna Hill '17