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Troop 555 wraps up another year of volunteering

December 29, 2010
(Ruth Sowby )

Free holiday gift-wrapping services by teenagers representing a variety of organizations have become increasingly popular. One organization is unique because its youth members have been wrapping gifts for the same store for almost 10 years.

Four stalwart Boy Scouts from the Delphi Academy-sponsored Troup 555 spent 12 hours on Thursday wrapping at Sport Chalet in La Cañada Flintridge. Their Scout leader is Sean Burke, who is Outdoor Chairman. These kids pull in $500 a day in customer donations. And that's wrapping on Black Friday and two weeks before Christmas. According to Burke, the donation money will go toward a 15-day summer trip for the Scouts without having to empty their parents' wallets. Some $7,500 in wrapping money will take as many Scouts as can fit into a large van to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore, to name only a few of the sites they will visit.

Those putting in the muscle were Burke's son, Duggan Burke, 13; Andy Fisher-Shin, 11, Spencer Allen, 16; and Colton Evans,16, who has volunteered for wrapping duty for six years straight. These kids wrap anything from trampolines and a free-standing basketball hoop to bikes and punching bags. The Scouts also accumulate community service hours for their efforts in Scouts and in their high schools—more and more necessary for college admittance.

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"Is there a Boy Scout badge for gift-wrapping," Evans said was the question he's asked most often. Unfortunately, there is not, or these Scouts would have already reached the rank of Eagle.

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Leave it to the Glendale Chamber of Commerce to meet and greet just a few days before Christmas. Some 50 members and guests met Wednesday at Panera Restaurant in Glendale. Business cards and season's greetings were exchanged in abundance.

Chamber membership Development Chairman John Hande handled emcee duties while Chamber Executive Vice President Judee Kendall presided with aplomb. New member and attorney Azad "AJ" Jingozian is learning the ropes fast. He's already networking with potential clients from chamber ranks.

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