Texas VFW Announces Scout of the Year Winner
Austin, Texas (April 19, 2017) – Hunter G. Beaton, an Eagle Scout from Troop 18 in Boerne, Texas, was named the VFW Department of Texas’ first-place winner and recipient of the Texas VFW Scout of the Year award in the 2017 Texas VFW Scout of the Year program. VFW Bruno Phillip/William Bordelon Post 688 and its Auxiliary in Boerne, Texas, sponsored Hunter.
Each year the Texas VFW honors three young individuals who are – Eagle Scouts, Girl Scout Gold Award recipients, Venture Summit Award recipients and/or Sea Scout Quartermasters who have risen above their peers in exemplifying the qualities of that rank and who have demonstrated exceptional citizenship in school, scouting and the community. This year Texas VFW received 42 entries throughout the state.
“Hunter possesses those quality virtues so often sought but, rarely found,” said Commander John R. Peterson, USN, Ret. “He diligently follows the Scout Law and patterns his daily life following the Scout Oath. Hunter is known throughout the local community as an outstanding young man who sets an example for his peers. He is a true inspiration for us all.”
Hunter’s Eagle Scout project was to provide 100 duffle bags for foster children that were filled with necessities and supplies. The goal was to let this be the bag the foster child receives when being placed into a new fosterhome. He called the project the “Day 1 Bag” initiative.
“My younger brothers and sister came to us with no belonging except for a black trash bag with tattered clothes,” said Hunter. Hunter knew how wrong that was at a young age and realized that he could do a project to change this process.
He raised over $10,000 for not only the bag and supplies but was able to provide the beneficiary $1,500 of HEB Gift Cards to place in each bag.
Hunter’s Eagle Scout project was a success and coming to a close, when he realized that the bags and supplies would not be sustained, he knew that he needed to pursue this project further, beyond the scout program.
After speaking to many county Welfare Boards and organizations, hewas invited to speak at the state-level in Austin on February 6, 2017, to promote and ask all regional councils and the counties that fall under them to support changing their policies and adding budget to their local boards. The state-level board unanimously approved and endorsed the acquisition and sustainment of the duffel bags – called “Hunter’s Bags” or “Day 1 Bags” for all foster children that are being removed from their homes. The total number impacted for the year will be approximately 19,600 children.
“To me, although I had received my Eagle Scout rank in the months before, I feel just as proud to know that I have made a difference in the life of children that are experiencing a very scary time in their lives,” said Hunter. “Although the bags do not take away the pain, they do provide some sense of comfort and dignity when arriving at their new foster home.”
Hunter’s winning state entry has been submitted to VFW National Headquarters for national-level judging. Hunter’s entry has the opportunity to be rewarded with a college scholarship of up to $5,000.