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Boy Scouts job shadow Madera officials

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Madera Police Officer Gino Chiaramonte is partnered with Boy Scout Paul Lasgoity of Troop116 during the annual Boy Scout Civics Day luncheon on Wednesday.


Celebrating the 107th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America the Thunderbird District of the Sequoia Council hosted its 92nd annual Civic Day on Wednesday. Believed to be the longest running program of its type, the program has been featured in Boy’s Life and Scouting magazines the official publications of the BSA.

Officials from city and county agencies met at the United Methodist Church in Madera for lunch and a meet and greet with area Boy Scouts. After the program the Scouts spent the afternoon job shadowing public officials.

Those included Mayor Andy Medellin, City Council Members Donald Holley and Cece Gallegos, Supervisors Max Rodriguez and Tom Wheeler, City Clerk Sonia Alvarez, police Chief Steve Frazier, police Commander Dino Lawson, Lt. Brian Esteves and Cal Fire Captain Tom Shevenell among others.

Keynote speaker at the event was Madera County Public Health Director Von Do-Reynoso.

The health department’s main focus is to monitor the community for any signs of illness and help people keep from getting sick Do-Reynoso said. One of the ways this is accomplished is to insure every person in Madera County who wants one gets a flu shot, she said. The department has 45 programs designed to help keep people from getting sick.

A recently founded youth council accepts 13- to 18-year-olds interested in the field of health promotion. Paid summer internships are available for students 16 to 18 years old, said Do-Reynoso. For information call Melissa Nelson 675-7893.

“This is a great opportunity to interact with our future leaders,” said Commander Tyson Pogue of the Madera County Sheriff’s Office. “It gives them a chance to see what goes on behind the curtain, ask questions and learn how things work behind the scenes.”

They provided a tour of the new sheriff’s office on Falcon Drive, followed by ride-alongs in the patrol units.

“This program bridges the gap to show that a seemingly faceless local government is run by real people,” Pogue said. “Boy Scouts emphasizes civic duty, and what better way to show public service than to let them play the role for an afternoon.”

A special award was presented to farming company Agri-Land and its owner, Jim Maxwell, who was honored for facilitating a Boy Scout program at Sierra Vista Elementary School, said Steve Von Flue, Thunderbird District Chairman.

The continuing success of civics day can be attributed to the diligent work of a focused group of volunteers headed by Fred Iverson. The lunch including a cake from Eddies’ Bakery was prepared and served by members of the Iverson family including, wife Bev Iverson, their children Craig and Julie Flowers, Phillip Iverson of Yakima, Wash., and Russell Smith of Elk Grove.

Members of the Madera Rotary Club, Tom Kidwell, Jonathan Habar and Kiley Wattenbarger, pitched in to wash the dishes and clean the meeting room.

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