Ceremony held to recognize Dunkirk Eagle Scout

Photos Courtesy of Photographic Images Unlimited Lisa L. Nasca State Assemblyman Andrew Goodell congratulates Riley Smith Mallon during an Eagle Scout ceremony.

One year after earning the rank of Eagle Scout, Riley Smith Mallon was recognized at a formal Court of Honor on Sunday, Sept. 19 at Camp Merz in Mayville.

His Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony was postponed until 2021 because of the global pandemic.

He is a member of Fredonia Scout Troop 267 and is the son of Dr. Cynthia Smith and Mr. Craig Mallon of Dunkirk. He passed his Eagle Scout Board of Review on Sept. 23, 2020 and joined the Eagle Scout Class of 2020, the first class in BSA history to include female scouts. Riley, then 13 years old, became one of the youngest scouts in his class. Only about 4 percent of all Scouts nationwide earn the rank of Eagle Scout.

The ceremony was held in the large outdoor pavilion at Camp Merz. Assistant Committee Chairperson Todd Proffitt welcomed guests and served as Master of Ceremonies. Smith Mallon was escorted to the podium by Eagle Scout Hunter Noody and Life Scout Colden Noody. Assistant Scoutmaster Brian Noody, one of Riley’s former cub scout leaders, delivered the Eagle Charge, and Scoutmaster James Stenger presented the award. Senior Patrol Leader Samuel Bowers and fellow scouts led the presentation of colors and assisted throughout the ceremony.

Assemblyman Andy Goodell and American Legion Scout Representative Jay McManus attended the ceremony and honored Riley through speeches.

Eagle Scout Mallon recognized his mother, Dr. Cynthia Smith, Troop Committee Chairperson, with the Mentor Pin.

To achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, a candidate must complete a minimum of 21 Merit Badges, including these 13 merit badges: (a) First Aid, (b) Citizenship in the Community, (c) Citizenship in the Nation, (d) Citizenship in the World, (e) Communication, (f) Cooking, (g) Personal Fitness, (h) Emergency Preparedness, (i) Environmental Science, (j) Personal Management, (k) Swimming, (l) Camping, and (m) Family Life. In addition to the merit badge requirements, the candidate must plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to the community. Riley’s service project beneficiary was Shriners Hospitals for Children in Erie, Pennsylvania.

When he was 12, Riley was diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis, a curvature of the spine.

In early 2019, Smith Mallon began working with therapist Brittany Ziegler at Shriners Hospitals for Children to establish his personalized scoliosis-specific exercise program.

The family immediately purchased the equipment needed for in-home daily exercise sessions, including stall bars, which look like a wall ladder.

The equipment his family purchased for his in-home program had cost several hundred dollars and Riley wondered if all the patients undergoing the same therapy were able to afford the equipment.

Smith Mallon learned that only about 25% of the patients had access to the necessary equipment at home and that the equipment is not typically covered by medical insurance. He immediately wanted to help.

His therapist also expressed a desire for the existing therapy manual to be converted to digital form and for the photographs and graphics to be updated.

As his Eagle Scout Service Project, Smith Mallon led a group of volunteers who digitized the existing therapy manual and organized two fundraising efforts, a letter writing campaign and a swim-a-thon, that led to the creation of a $5,000 grant fund for Shriners patients.

He has held numerous leadership positions within the Troop, including Den Chief, Troop Guide, Patrol Leader, Assistant Patrol Leader, and Assistant Senior Patrol Leader. Smith Mallon is also a founding member of Sea Scout Ship 3821.

Riley is an active member of his Troop. He attends regular meetings and campouts as well as summer camps at Camp Merz and Massawepie Scout Camp in the Adirondacks.

He is an Honor Student at Dunkirk High School, Freshman Class Treasurer, Student Council Member, and Shriners Hospitals for Children Ambassador.


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