Giving Back

Mahopac’s Richie Duffy Obtains Rank of Eagle Scout

Newly minted Eagle Scout Richie Duffy poses with Judge Jame Reitz, left, and Carmel Town Councilman Frank Lombardi at his Court of Honor ceremony on April 1. Credits: Photo Courtesy of the Duffy Family
Richie Duffy, center, and his crew pose with the new sign he created for McDonough Park for his Eagle Scout project. Credits: Photo Courtesy of the Duffy Family

MAHOPAC, N.Y.— Spring is here and that means baseball season. And that means the ball fields at Jimmy McDonough Memorial Park will be filled with players, fans and families as the new season gets under way.

Those entering the park may notice something different this year. The old signs leading into the facility are gone and have been replaced by a brand new one. You can thank Mahopac Boy Scout Richie Duffy for that. Making and installing the sign was part of his Eagle Scout project. He received his Eagle Scout designation during a Court of Honor ceremony Saturday, April 1, at American Legion Post 1080.

During his Scouting career, Duffy earned more than 39 merit badges and mentored some of the younger Scouts while holding several leadership positions before starting to plan his Eagle project in December 2015. That project was to remove the existing signs at the corner of Angela Drive and Long Pond Road, near the entrance to the Jimmy McDonough Memorial Fields (Crane Road) and replace them with a new Town of Carmel standard PVC oval sign, which was white with green letters and the town seal. The new sign is double-sided with directional arrows, guiding visitors to the ball field.

Sign Up for E-News

The new sign will benefit traveling teams not familiar with the area to find the ballfields more easily and will also benefit residents who are new to the town or just starting out with their younger children playing sports.

The project was more than just an Eagle Scout project to Duffy; it was also a little more personal.  As a young boy, he played countless soccer games at this field with the Mahopac Sports Association (MSA) and eventually with the high school soccer team. He has also served as a referee at the fields for the MSA. 

As part of the Eagle Scout process, Duffy had to plan the project, which includes diagrams, project cost estimates, lists of supplies, materials, tools, permits, and plan for the safety of those assisting on the project worksite, and have it approved by the town and the county since it is on the corner of a Putnam County and Carmel town road. He then had to present the proposal, including all the logistics, in writing to his scoutmaster and the troop committee separately, and have them approved before a formal presentation to a Board at the Westchester-Putnam Council of the BSA.

Then came the process of planning a fundraiser to raise money for the project, which would cost about $2,200, including the cost of the sign and other supplies needed.  Duffy planned a potluck dinner at the American Legion on Bucks Hollow Road in which he went to most of the restaurants and delis in town and asked if they would be willing to donate a tray of food or another item to help fund his project. He was pleased with the overwhelmingly positive responses he got from most everyone that was asked.  His dinner was a success and raised almost $2,000. The rest of the funding was secured from donations from family, friends and other businesses in town.        

The physical work on the project started in May 2016 and was completed in mid-July of 2016 when the landscaping was completed around the sign. However, the work did not stop then because all the new landscaping plants had to be watered on a regular basis due to the unusually dry summer. Duffy, with the help of others, brought several gallons of water from home in buckets and 5-gallon jugs on a weekly basis to prevent the plants from dying. 

Altogether, the project included more than 185 man hours of labor, which was led by Duffy.

He had his final board of review in January when he was approved for promotion to the rank of Eagle Scout, which less than four percent of boys who join Scouting attain. 

Duffy recently joined the Mahopac Falls Fire Department and responds to many calls for help on the ambulance and looks forward to attending firefighter training school this summer so that he will be able to further help his community by fighting fires. He is also a member of the Putnam County Sheriffs Cadet Corps and a member of the Putnam County Youth Court. He works part time at a local shop. His plans are to graduate Mahopac High in June 2018 and attend a local college and eventually fulfill his dream and join the NYPD.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


I Do Not Make Stuff Up!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote in my column, “Watergate analogies apply to Obama, not Trump,” that President Obama’s Justice Department planted a spy in the Trump campaign. I said I used the term “spy” because this was a counter-intelligence operation, not a criminal investigation, where the term informant would have been proper.

That statement has been brought ...

Here's What You Missed Last Week

Last week, the Daily News ran a headline, “When is our father coming home?” This dealt with a person here illegally, married to an American woman with a family, who was arrested at an Army base while delivering pizza. You are supposed to think that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), under Trump, is tearing families apart. As usual, it was a crock of cow pies. It was ...

Reagan on Trump

The party of “Honest Abe” has now become the party of Dishonest Don, and what follows are some disturbing displays of a Republican Party that has become devoid of conscience:

• More than 4,600 American citizens dead in Puerto Rico—a postscript to the government’s abysmal response to the widespread devastation of Hurricane Maria; 
• The underhanded ...

The Rich Get Richer, and We’re Paying For It

According to a Harvard University study published late last year, most Americans believe that the richest 20 percent of Americans own just half of the nation’s wealth. Wrong! The top 20 percent own 93 percent of the nation’s wealth, and the top 1 percent own 40 percent of that wealth. Additionally, the top 10 percent of earners in 2017 took home more than half the nation’s ...

What Kind of Sports Parent Are You?

Social media recently showered a lot of likes and love on a high school pitcher in Minnesota whose team was playing in a regional final that would send the winning team to the state championship game.

After the last batter of the game struck out, the pitcher did something unheard of. Rather than spontaneously join his teammates in an on-field celebration, as is customary, the pitcher ...

Competing—Against Yourself

This is the time of year when students are recognized at public ceremonies for notable achievements in their studies, their sports and in their extracurricular pursuits.

Where we live, there are awards in various sports that are named for our son, who also is memorialized by town ballfield Harrison Apar Field of Dreams and a charitable foundation of the same name.

Due to a rare dwarfism, ...

Packing Heat

“Are you leaving me?” asked my husband one night as he surveyed the contents of my closet on our bed.

“What? No!” I said. “Why would you think that?”

“Every single article of clothing you own is laid out on our bed,” he replied. “So I have to assume you are either leaving me or you have joined the armed services and if that’s the ...

I Come from the Land Down Under

I know this is a family column, so I’m going to put this in as delicate terms as possible.

This morning I woke up and I knew, as sure as the sun shines over Bora Bora, that something was very, very wrong in that place in my body where the Bora Bora sun doesn’t shine.

It’s that place I used to refer to my daughter as her hoo-hoo. But it certainly wasn’t a happy ...

Upcoming Events


Wed, June 27, 9:00 AM

Putnam County Department of Health, Brewster

PCDOH Free HIV Testing Day

Health & Wellness