Wapashuwi Lodge, Order of the Arrow of the Greater Western Reserve Council, Boy Scouts of America, met for its annual Winter Banquet recently at DiVieste Banquet Hall in Warren.
Wapashuwi Lodge has more than 300 members from over 90 Boy Scout Troops of the Greater Western Reserve Council providing service to the scouting community of northeast Ohio and the communities and families of the area.
Founded in 1915, the Order of the Arrow is Scoutings National Honor Society with a focus on leadership development, membership extension, adventurous programming and broader service to Scouting and the community. For 99 years, their peers have honored scouts who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives with membership in the OA. The OA has more than 180,000 members located in lodges affiliated with 310 local BSA Councils.
Photos special to Town Crier
John LaPolla, Wapashuwi Lodge Vice-Chief of Membership presented the Wapashuwi lodge 2013 Steward of the Shadows Award to AJ Gioglio of Boy Scout Troop 101 in Struthers.
Following dinner, the 2013 officers and advisers of the lodge were recognized for their service by Jason Wolf-council executive and Brandon West-lodge staff adviser. The 2014 Officers, installed by central region chief Ricky Angeletti, are Andrew Pleso-lodge chief, Chris Leymarie-lodge executive vice chief, Nicholas Locke-lodge secretary, Jonathan Feigert-lodge treasurer, Seth Welch-Neatoka Chapter chief, Mitch Oshaben-Stigwandish Chapter chief, Connor Orr-Tapawingo Chapter chief and Scott Brown-Tsisgoli Ama Chapter chief, Corey Smith-vice chief of camping and service, Mitchell Babej-vice-chief of communications, John LaPolla-vice chief of membership and Evan John-vice chief of Native American Heritage.
Special recognitions were presented to three members for their outstanding service to Unit Elections in 2013. They were Bart Gensburg, Noah Marsh and Paul Parrish
Awards presented this evening were: The Gary Waldorf Native American Heritage Award, presented to the Arrowman who demonstrates exemplary enthusiasm, dedication and contribution to Native American Heritage and Ceremonies of Wapashuwi Lodge.
The 2013 Waldorf Award recipient is Andrew Pleso, a Brotherhood member and currently the Lodge Chief of Wapashuwi Lodge and a member of Boy Scout Troop 557 in North Bloomfield, Ohio.
The Wapashuwi Lodge Stewards of the Shadow Award is presented to the Arrowman who gives extensive behind-the-scenes service to Wapashuwi Lodge Ceremonies as they work tirelessly to support ceremonies from the shadows. The 2013 Steward of the Shadows recipient was AJ Gioglio, a Brotherhood member and a member of Boy Scout Troop 101 in Struthers.
The 2014 Vigil Honor candidates were announced and are Chris Leymarie of Boy Scout Troop 60 in Boardman, Noah Bokansky of Boy Scout Troop 99 in Newbury, Linny Harden of boy Scout Troop 31 in Niles, Debi DeConcilus of Boy Scout Troop 31 in Niles, Clayton Burrows of Boy Scout Troop 100 in Hubbard, AJ Gioglio of Boy Scout Troop 101 in Struthers, and Terri Andrews, a District Committee member of the Headwaters District from Willoughby.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of two special awards. The Wapashuwi Lodge Arrowman of the Year award is presented to one youth and one adult per year for rendering outstanding service to the lodge while truly exemplifying the spirit of the Order of the Arrow. The 2013 Youth of the Year award was presented to Evan John and the 2013 Adult of the Year was presented to Alan Reed. Evan is a member of Boy Scout Troop 101 in Struthers, and a resident of Poland and currently serves the Lodge as Vice-Chief of Native American Heritage and is a Vigil Honor member of the lodge. Reed of Novelty, is a member of Boy Scout Troop 99 most recently served the Lodge as the Associate Adviser to the Vice-Chief of Membership.
The featured speaker of the evening was Ricky Angeletti, newly elected Central Region Chief of the Order of the Arrow which serves Arrowmen in 13 States in the Great Midwest of the United States.