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1998 - Worst day of record-setting 1997-98 El Nino storm season [story]
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Saugus native Zachary Hoffman will be recognized at an Eagle Scout court of honor on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 1:30 p.m. at the Sierra Vista Junior High School branch of the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley.

City officials, project donors, family, friends and Boys & Girls Club staff will attend the ceremony. Hoffman, 18, is from Scouts BSA Troop 303, based in Canyon Country. He has long had a connection with the Boys & Girls Club of SCV.

“I literally grew up going to the Festival of Trees so it was natural to ask the Boys & Girls Club where they needed help,” said Hoffman. His parents, who’ve volunteered nearly 20 years, are part of the committee that organizes the second largest annual fundraiser for the club.

When Hoffman approached the Boys & Girls Club about an Eagle Scout project, Janine Fairall, director of operations, knew exactly where he could help. She asked Hoffman if he could renovate the gym office and sports storage area of the Sierra Vista branch.

For his Eagle project Hoffman took the four under-utilized rooms and revitalized them, constructing and installing additional shelves and storage units for more efficient organization and painting and cleaning each room as a bonus.

Hoffman budgeted $1,800 for the project, but he ended up donating $400 back to the club. His fundraising included GoFundMe, as well as donations from All Professional Painting, Home Depot and Walmart.

“We express sincere gratitude to Zach for his outstanding leadership in renovating our gym office and storage space as part of his Eagle Scout project,” Fairall said. “Zach’s dedication has left an enduring impact on our facility and members, showcasing the true spirit of Scouting and embodying the principles of the Eagle Scouts with excellence.”

The Eagle Scout court of honor will follow tradition with leaders and Scouts presenting and speaking. In addition, City Councilmember Jason Gibbs will present Hoffman with recognition from the city of Santa Clarita. Matthew Nelson, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of SCV, will also say a few words at the ceremony.

“Through his impactful project, Zach exemplifies the spirit of leadership, compassion, and commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of others,” Nelson said. “Thank you to everyone who supported him and all their contributions to the project. We are grateful to have young leaders like Zach contributing to the betterment of the community.”

Guests will have a chance to see the result of Hoffman’s Eagle Scout project at the ceremony, which is anticipated to last less than 90 minutes. They will also get to see a special part of the fundraising efforts, a framed sports jersey with the names of donors who gave more than $25.

Background, Development of the Eagle Scout Project

Fairall met with Hoffman in April 2023 and the Eagle Scout project plan started to form. Hoffman sought expert advice, and developed a project plan, fundraising goals, work schedule, and supply and materials needs. When the project wasn’t quite enough, he reached out to additional experienced Scouts BSA leaders. With their guidance, he enhanced his vision and added the construction of a sports storage unit. When he presented it to the local council in October, it was approved.

The first work weekend was in October at a Scout leader’s home. Adults and Scouts measured, cut, and built wood storage units. Days later, Hoffman coerced friends to help him paint the units. Mid-November, everything came together at the Sierra Vista branch of the Boys & Girls Club over a weekend. The newly created and painted units were transported to the site to be installed. Adults, Scouts, family, and friends cleaned, scraped, painted, and hammered. Walls were transformed from damaged and dingy white to bright Boys & Girls Club blue. The sports equipment was reorganized. Motivational posters were hung.

“I expected all the hard work, but didn’t realize how much I would enjoy the journey. It was great seeing all the important people in my life coming together to support me. It felt great to give them direction confidently and to end up with something to benefit the Boys & Girls Club,” Hoffman said.

After the physical work was finished, Hoffman still had three tasks to complete before securing his Eagle rank. First, he provided a binder which described his project, the budget and his reflection of how it went. Then he participated in a Scoutmaster conference which involved three Scout leaders who asked him questions about the project and about his Scouting experience. Finally, Hoffman took part in a Board of Review with members of the Scouts BSA council who asked questions of him, his parents, and one of his leaders. Hoffman passed his Board of Review on Dec. 28, 2023, with many compliments from the district chairperson.

Dean Yerem, former Scoutmaster for Scouts BSA Troop 303, was a participant for the final important meetings. “Zach did an outstanding job on both his Scoutmaster conference and his Board of Review. He presented himself professionally and clearly understood what it means to be an Eagle Scout,” he said.

The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley is a leading youth organization that strives to inspire and enable young people to reach their full potential as responsible, caring, and productive citizens. With a rich history of community impact, the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley remains dedicated to providing a safe and supportive environment for children, helping them develop essential life skills, academic excellence and a sense of belonging.

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1 Comment

  1. Jim Ventress says:

    Outstanding!! Way to go Zach!!!!!! Well done.

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