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In annual tradition, Scouts lend helping hand to UNICEF

Sat, Nov 17th 2018 07:00 am
Hal Pierce, center, is flanked by past Boy Scouts of Troop and Post 254 who returned to celebrate the 40th anniversary of coin sorting for UNICEF. Alumni taking part were, from left, John Lockett and Rob Nichols; and Tim Wilkinson and Steve Gushue. Pierce put them to work (below), sorting thousands of coins `into my metal coffee cans that I haul up out of the cellar once a year.`
Hal Pierce, center, is flanked by past Boy Scouts of Troop and Post 254 who returned to celebrate the 40th anniversary of coin sorting for UNICEF. Alumni taking part were, from left, John Lockett and Rob Nichols; and Tim Wilkinson and Steve Gushue. Pierce put them to work (below), sorting thousands of coins "into my metal coffee cans that I haul up out of the cellar once a year."
Nov. 8 was the 40th anniversary of Grand Island Boy Scouts, under the direction of Hal Pierce, opening little orange UNICEF boxes and sorting all of the hundreds of coins and larger bills collected on Halloween Islandwide.
UNICEF money on Grand Island has been collected and sorted by Troop and Post 254 and by Troop 510 every year from 1978 to 2018. This year, the Boy Scouts of Troop 510 met at Trinity United Methodist Church to accomplish this annual job of filling metal coffee cans with each type of coin.
Pierce has been the coordinator for Boy Scout sorting every year. He has been Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 254 from 1976 to 1979, advisor to Explorer Post 254 from 1979 to 1996, and district member GNFC Boy Scouts of America from 1996 to 2018.
Former members of Troop and Post 254 visited this year to celebrate with Pierce the 40th anniversary. Alumni included Steve Gushue, John Lockett, Rob Nichols and Tim Wilkinson.
In 1978, Boy Scout Troop 254 met at Kaegebein Elementary School to do the sorting of thousands of coins. From 1979 through 1994, Explorer Post 254 conducted the all-volunteer work at Kaegebein. Cub Pack 254 worked at Grand Island High School in the 1990s as well. From 1997 through 2008, Boy Scout Troop 254 met at Kaegebein and the former Grand Island Nike Base from 2009 through 2017. Of late, Boy Scout Troop 510 has done the work at Historic Trinity United Methodist Church.
This year, Boy Scout Troop 510 Scouts with six years or more of experience sorting UNICEF included Chuy Cisneros, Cameron Fairbairn and Richard Shilling.
Other Scouts helping Thursday were: Jacob Clark, Brandon Farquharson, Ethan Klie, Thomas Lockett, Evan Russo, Connor Tribby, Joshua Vizzi, George Wolosyn IV and Drew Birtz.
Scout leaders involved in the endeavor were Scoutmaster Todd Tribby, Shawn Hill, John Lockett (former member of Troop and Post 254), Matt Shilling and Tina Vizzi.
In addition to Pierce, Grand Island's UNICEF team includes Debbie Beis, UNICEF chair since 2015 and formerly UNICEF chair at Huth Road Elementary School for many years before that, and Lenore Tetkowski, who was Grand Island chair from 1952 to 2014.
The largest amount of UNICEF money collected on Grand Island was $4,079.12 in 2001.
UNICEF is the second oldest children's charity, and has been helping children around the world since 1946.
When children trick-or-treat for UNICEF, this endeavor carries on the tradition of "kids helping kids," as UNICEF sends 90 cents out of every dollar raised right to the children who are suffering from lack of clean water, food, medicine and educational supplies.

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