Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Boy Scouts Raise Money for Tsunami Victims

From Woodbridge Patch: Boy Scouts Raise Money for Tsunami Victims
Boy Scout Troop 964's annual Model Train Show donates profits to a Japanese Boy Scout Troop that was devastated by last year's tsunami - presenting the check to the Japanese Ambassador to the U.S.

Local Boy Scout Troop 964 presented a check for $3,000 to the Japanese Ambassador to the United States, Ichiro Fujisaki, Saturday during the troop’s 14th annual Model Train Show.

This check is just the beginning, said Troop Committee Chairman James Young. "This is the bare minimum that we are donating," he said. All profits from the show this year will go to Troop 2 in Ishinomaki, Japan which was devastated by the tsunami a year ago. When communicating with Troop 2 leaders, Young said they told him that the troop’s history ended a year ago—but was going to be reborn now.

“Thank you for standing with us,” Ambassador Fujisaki told the crowd of boy scouts, families, and others who were gathered for the presentation during the train show at Saunders Middle School.

“You have been there for us, and we will not forget it. Japan will be there for you too,” he said.

Scoutmaster Martin Schwerzler presented the check to the Ambassador after Fujisaki had been given a tour by Train Show Committee Chair Fred Wetzel of the rooms filled with various model trains.

“There were two things I wanted to be in life that I never got to—a boy scout and a train modeler,” Fujisaki said. “So this is very exciting.”

The show, which has been held by Troop 964 annually since 1998, features one of the largest recurring HO-scale model train layouts in the Mid-Atlantic, according to Fred Wetzel.

The show included dozens of model railroad modules, created by scouts and model railroad enthusiasts—filling the gymnasium, cafeteria, and several classrooms at the school.

A large LEGO train layout, door prizes and a restaurant called the "Club Car" were all featured, as well as a display from Japan Train Modelers of Washington, D.C., complete with a Godzilla attack. There were also workshops for scouts to earn the railroading merit badge.

Saunders Middle School Principal Myca Gray was also there and presented Fujisaki with a school t-shirt inviting him to become a Spartan. Fujisaki immediately took off his sports jacket and donned the t-shirt, to the cheers of the crowd.

Saunders Middle School is located at 13557 Spriggs Rd.

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