Jenny Kukucka Memorial Public Service Award 2008: Ricky Romanek

Our next award is the Jenny Kukucka Memorial Public Service Award and I want to say a few words about the award itself and why it bares this name. For each year we move a little bit further from the tragedy of that day in October, 2005 and it is important we never forget. Jenny Kukucka was a new member in our crew who was killed in a car accident along with her older brother. Their deaths so upset the crew that the officers decided to conduct a driving safety campaign in three schools the following year, the most ambitious service project I have seen in 20 years in Scouting. The following year the crew produced a video on driving safety, a video we use and share every year.

This award goes to the individual who most demonstrates the spirit of giving, of leading and participating in service projects throughout the year. Now to help keep track of who is doing what, I created a spreadsheet and tracked everyone’s service hours this year. And five of them gave more than others this year. So I’d like four of them to step forward and receive a Venturing patch to symbolize the work you have done for others during the year: Heather, Hope, John and Tara. Thank you for all you have done.

And now I would like our winner this year to step forward: Ricky Romanek.

Ricky has been with us three years and each year his growth has been extraordinary. In fact he was awarded the Growth award last year. He served as a chaplain’s aide, the first to really do that job right, and is currently servicing as vice president of activities.

Ricky is at and has been at almost every service project the entire time with this crew. He has worked long hours and done some of the stinkiest chores, such as our dog show garbage. He’s also quick to volunteer, as he did when I was looking for someone last year to give our driving safety talk to a meeting of the Etowah Creek Roundtable, or when he asked not help buy cigarettes for our annual tobacco prevention survey with LRADAC, not a task that many in the crew want to touch.

I had a former Scoutmaster who used to sign all his correspondence with the signature, The Greatest of All is the Servant of all, a paraphrase of a Biblical passage. It is something that I wholeheartedly agree with. Too many adults walking around our communities depend on the good works and good hearts of others rather than to step forward and lead a service project on their own.

Ricky is one of those who has stepped forward and constantly. And for that willingness to help others, for his positive spirit while doing so, I am happy to congratulate him as our recipient this year of the Jenny K. Memorial Public Service Award.

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