Eagle helps Lions

In the wild you would never see an eagle help a lion. However, that is what has happened this summer at the Chautauqua County Fair Dunkirk Fredonia Lions Club Booth as Boy Scout Trevor Cole seeks to become an Eagle Scout.

Trevor, a junior at Silver Creek High School, has been involved in Boy Scouts for around 13 years.

The Cole family has been involved in Lions Club for longer than that. Trevor’s mother, Judy is two-time president of the club and she and her husband Greg have been co-chairs of the fair stand committee for 15 years.

“As long as I can remember we have worked at the stand during the fair,” Trevor said.

Judy said Trevor chose a good project because all the proceeds from the food sold at the stand go back to the community.

“We are very proud of Trevor. He loves the fair stand and the Lions Club has been a big part of life. He calls the stand the ‘family business.’ It means a lot to him. He started yelling for sausages at the age of 3,” she added.

It took Trevor about 10 days to repaint the stand inside and out, degrease equipment and do general cleaning and maintenance to get the stand ready for fair-time business.

He said he has learned a lot from being a Boy Scout including camping, leadership, getting involved in the community and improving one’s self.

“With so many distractions, it is nice to see kids set goals and meet them,” Greg said.

He was a Boy Scout himself and has been involved in Boy Scouts with his two sons.

“My wife, Judy, and I are pleased with how goal-driven Trevor is and how he achieves the goals he sets for himself. He is very dependable and reliable,” he added.

Greg said these qualities can definitely be traced back to Boy Scouts, where a lot of character education takes place.

“At Silver Creek school we teach character education, but before that it was at home, church and organizations like the Boy Scouts where kids learned these things,” he said.

Trevor said one driving factor to becoming an Eagle Scout is beating his older brother, Reggie, who became an Eagle Scout at 18. He said he hopes to have his eagle ceremony before Christmas, and he will beat his brother to the achievement by one year.

Becoming an Eagle Scout is a high bar to meet, but it seems to be reached more often in Silver Creek’s Troop 252.

“Our Troop Master (Shaun Finch) really tries to push us to go through the ranks, so that we can become an Eagle Scout and just really enjoy scouting,” Trevor said.

Finch said when he became scout master, he came up with a plan to enable boys to become Eagle Scouts in three years.

“It is hard work, but it is fun hard work,” he said.

He added Trevor has been an exemplary scout.

“Trevor has been a great scout and a great leader. He was a patrol leader for two years and helped bring the boys up in rank. He has always done what he is asked and has logged a lot of community service hours,” Finch said. “His first summer camp, Trevor received the most merit badges. I think he was almost at first class. From the get-go her was a go-getter.”

Finch noted that Trevor has been very active in school activities and community service and has still dedicated himself to scouting.

“I think that is amazing,” he said. “I have nothing but good things to say about Trevor.”

Trevor said he has learned about life’s challenges from his project.

“There are obstacles and challenges to all aspects of life and through scouting I have learned to handle and deal with them,” he added.

Trevor is a member of the Order of the Arrow, as well as the Silver Creek High School band and chorus and is the head of the stage crew. He plans to go to SUNY Fredonia for stage management.

The Dunkirk Fredonia Lions Club fair stand has a long history, first starting as a tent in 1949, then taking the form of a semi permanent structure in 1954, until the permanent stand was constructed in 1969.

Food sales at the booth are the organizations major fundraiser of the year. The booth is manned by volunteers and all proceeds go toward the Lions’ programs to help the community.

The Lions Club helps hundreds of people each year through its vision and hearing programs as well as its loan closet, winter jacket donations, high school scholarships, sponsoring the Dunkirk little league team and giving to other hearing and vision related organizations like seeing eye dog charities and radio reading services.