Thirteen members of Boy Scout Troop 457 who recently achieved Eagle Scout status were honored during the May 7 Palmetto Bay Village Council meeting.A special proclamation recognizing their achievement was presented by Mayor Shelley Stanczyk and other members of the village council.
Attending in their Scout uniforms and full regalia of merit badges and ribbons were Daniel Carr, Gabriel Pardo, Neal Simmons, Jay Castro, Erik Hanson, Nicholas Dominguez, Paul Nunez, Christopher Perse, Nicholas Gonzalez, Adam Stebbine, Zachariah Cosner, Kevin Ellenburg. Also honored but unable to attend was Scout Jason Dannelly.
Most of the Scouts go to Miami Palmetto High School, but Carr and Dannelly attend Miami Killian High and Dominguez attends Belen Jesuit Preparatory School.
Present at the ceremony were the leaders who helped guide the young men to their Eagle Scout status, Troop Committee chair Julie Ziska and her husband, Scoutmaster David Ziska.
The Eagle Scout projects included such things as building a handicapped accessible ramp at a park, cleaning and landscaping the grounds of area churches, plant projects at parks, construction of a greenhouse at Zoo Miami, constructing an animal rehabilitation enclosure at Monkey Jungle, repainting parking spaces at a church lot plus other construction and landscaping tasks to aid the community.
The largest troop in the Boy Scouts South Florida Council — covering Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties —Troop 457 has active Scouts numbering from 100 to 150 from year to year, with 50 to 60 adult leaders.
David Ziska, Scoutmaster for the troop, has been a Scout leader for 32 years. Julie Ziska is the Troop Committee chair and counselor to Eagle candidates, with 29 years of Scouting leadership experience. The Ziska’s twin sons, Kenneth and Brian Thelen, started as Cubs at Pinecrest Elementary School. In 1986 the family joined Troop 457 and after their twins became Eagles in 1993 the Ziskas continued their work with the troop