It’s not the first time that the Pasco County Commission has honored an Eagle Scout, and most likely it won’t be the last.
But when Vincent Salzano was celebrated by the board during its Oct. 24 meeting, board members expressed some personal pride in his accomplishment.
Commissioner Kathryn Starkey sponsored the resolution to honor Vincent Salzano, the son of Anthony Salzano and Elizabeth Blair, who are senior assistant county attorneys.
Vincent is a 17-year-old senior at River Ridge High School. He’s in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, on the robotics team, involved in the Life Teen Ministry at St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church, and is pursuing an FAA pilot’s license with aspirations to become a pilot in the United States Air Force, or an aviator in the U.S. Navy, according to the resolution adopted by the board.
He also has a lengthy history in scouting, replete with accomplishments including a variety of leadership positions and earning 44 merit badges — more than twice the 21 required to reach the rank of Eagle Scout.
He’s also been involved in numerous community service projects with Troop 177, including Coastal Cleanups at Anclote Gulf Park and numerous other environmental projects, participation in the New Port Richey Patriot Day Memorial Ceremony and helping Metropolitan Ministries.
For his Eagle Scout project, he led the construction of a fire circle, a Gaga Ball pit and the rehabilitation of both a volleyball court and a prayer garden.
He accomplished his Eagle Scout project by enlisting the support of friends, scout families, community members and local businesses, the resolution says.
When Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller Nikki Alvarez-Sowles finished reading the resolution, which was quickly approved by the board, Starkey commented: “My gosh, is that a resume. I was sitting here counting his merit badges there — and I got way past 21. Was it 21 that you were required and you, what, doubled it?”
Vincent responded: “It was about that.”
Starkey told him she was honored to sponsor the resolution.
“We are also very proud of you, just like your parents. I told your parents, I have two Eagle Scouts in my family, so I know what you go through. And, I know what that ceremony is like when you get it, too.
“What an interesting future I think you are on the way to have.
“I just say, congratulations, great job. Parents, what a great job you’re doing. In this day and age, to see parents like this and kids like this, it’s really wonderful. It gives me great hope for our future,” Starkey said.
Commissioner Seth Weightman added: “Congratulations to you.
“Your parents have done a good job of teaching you the foundation of faith, professionalism, responsibility — being ingrained in you, in Scouts.
“That foundation, I hope, will lead you to a very successful life. And, I hope you lead your family in your future and in your career as well.
“Keep up the good work, we’re proud of you. You’re a model. And, mom and dad, good job, good work. Congratulations to you guys, as well,” Weightman said.
Commissioner Gary Bradford told the Eagle Scout: “Congratulations on a great achievement. You should be very proud. Your parents have done an outstanding job.”
Commissioner Ron Oakley was clearly impressed by the young man’s achievement.
“You’ve done more in your lifetime, to this point, than a lot of people do in a lifetime.
“You should be in leadership somewhere in the future, and your parents, I know, are very proud of you,” he said.
The 17-year-old addressed the board: “It’s a huge honor to be recognized with the rank of Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts, but even more so to be recognized by all of you, with this resolution.
“I want to thank all of you for that, and I want to thank Commissioner Starkey for sponsoring my resolution here.”
He also singled out two of his scout masters; his parents, in particular his dad, who accompanied him during his journey through Scouting; and, two Eagle Scouts whom he described as being “huge role models” and “massive inspirations” for him.
Vincent’s dad also addressed the board: “Commissioner Starkey, I can’t help but remember the fact that you threw a baby shower for Vincent, many years ago, at your house.”
Anthony Salzano also thanked Eric Breitenbach, who, he said, served as the troop committee chair for more than half of Vincent’s scouting career in Troop 177.
“He’s kind of part-family,” Anthony Salzano said.
Audience members, clearly impressed by the teenager’s accomplishments, signaled their approval through a standing ovation.
Published November 08, 2023