Giving Back

Two 'Talon-ted' Volunteers Earn Eagle Rank in Roxbury

Michael Hayde (left) and James Burke (right) pose with the candles that represent each of the twelve values of Scout Law shortly after becoming Eagle Scouts. Credits: Sophia Solano
This flagpole and surrounding area at VFW #2833 were renovated as a part of James Burke's Eagle Scout service project. Credits: Sophia Solano
James Burke (left) and Michael Hayde (right) take the Oath of the Eagle. Credits: Sophia Solano
New Eagle Scout, Michael Hayde poses with his sister Kasey and mother Mary.
New Eagle Scout James Burke celebrates his accomplishment with his father Peter and mother Uta. Credits: Sophia Solano
The old flagpole in the lot of VFW #2833 before Burke's renovations Credits: Fred J. Aun

ROXBURY, NJ - Roxbury Boy Scout Troop 54 welcomed its 119th and 120th Eagle Scouts with open “wings” on Jan. 13.

James Burke and Michael Hayde, both seniors at Roxbury High School, were awarded the honored title at the United Methodist Church on Main Street in Succasunna after 12 years of dedication to the Boy Scouts of America.

To become an Eagle Scout, a Boy Scout must, among other requirements, earn 21 merit badges; Hayde earned 27 and Burke earned 34.

Sign Up for E-News

Another requirement is the completion of a service project to benefit the community. Both Hayde and Burke chose to renovate Kenvil’s VFW Post #833.

“I’ve always wanted to be in the military and I’ve had family members serve,” Hayde said. “I have a great respect for these men and women, and I wanted to give back to them in this way.”

With the help of 15 fellow scouts, family members and friends, Burke installed a 30-foot flagpole and renovated the surrounding area in front of the VFW. More than 200 hours of work and $1,000 were put into completing the project.

For his project, Hayde replaced the ceiling, painted the steps, inserted a railing, painted the walls, placed non-skid strips on the steps and completed an overall update of the stairwell.

“They were working on the project in the summer, in the heat and rain,” said Bob Mederos, VFW Post 2833 member and overseer to Burke and Hayde’s projects. “It was hard work, cutting down that old flag pole and all. It became a challenge on their end and mine. Putting in this hard work to benefit our community shows their wonderful attributes as young men.”

State Assemblyman Anthony Bucco, Morris County Sheriff James Gannon, Roxbury Councilwoman Jaki Albrecht and Roxbury Councilman Dan Kline attended the Eagle Court of Honor. Each spoke, congratulating Burke and Hayde on their accomplishment.

“I am very proud he stuck with this project, through planning, collecting donations, organizing, and dedicating so much time while still keeping up with his school work and additional activities,” said Burke’s father, Peter Burke. “BSA made him a better individual and I hope he continues living under the scout law,” added his mother, Uda Burke.

As a member of Troop 54, Burke has been Patrol Leader, Assistant Patrol Leader, Quartermaster, Librarian, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader and Troop Guide. Burke is involved in the high school band program and his future plans include going to college, earning his MBA and starting a business.

“Earning his Eagle rank was a lot of work, on my part too, but I know it will pay off when he achieves so much in the future,” said Mary Hayde. “Unfortunately, his father isn’t here to see Michael become an Eagle Scout, but he was here when he started in Cub Scouts, and he would be so proud today.”

Michael is involved with the high school’s orchestra and community service clubs, Interact Club and Key Club. He has made the honor roll consistently throughout his high school career. He hopes to study nuclear engineering, possibly join the military and eventually start a troop or join one as a part of adult leadership.

“Today has been such an honor,” Hayde said. “Joining and adapting to live by the oath everyday has changed me as a person and leader.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events

Tue, February 27, 11:00 AM

Roxbury Public Library, Succasunna

Roxbury Area Preschool Fair



Thu, March 1, 6:30 PM

Roxbury Public Library, Succasunna

Celtic Harp Concert

Arts & Entertainment


Sat, March 3, 8:00 AM

Redeemer Lutheran Church, Succasunna

Boy Scout Troop 159 Pancake Breakfast

Food & Drink


Sat, March 10, 7:30 PM

Investors Bank Theater, Succasunna

Charlie Zahm

Arts & Entertainment



AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

Sponsors of Roxbury's Best Journalism

Getting it Right From the Start; Roxbury Realtor Bob Idakaar

ROXBURY, NJ – Twenty years ago this month, Bob Idakaar experienced an unprofessional real estate agent. That’s when he decided to be a good one.

Idakaar, a lifelong Succasunna resident and TAPinto Roxbury sponsor, bought his fifth home in July 1997. A big event, one that could have been joyous, ended up being stressful and unenjoyable.

“I had a bad experience,” he ...

Roxbury Diner: Homespun Hospitality Through Thick and Thin

ROXBURY, NJ – Roxbury was being buried in snow March 14 and most businesses were closed. Not Roxbury Diner.

Roxbury Diner isn’t like most businesses.For co-owner Jimmy Dontas, a snowstorm – even a blizzard – isn’t a reason to suspend operations. Instead, it’s a call to action.

To many in town, Roxbury Diner – a TAPinto Roxbury sponsor – is ...

It Began With Filling Your Tank; Now They Fix Your Grandson’s Car

When we drive east on Route 10 through Roxbury, many of us might remember a Shell station at the Randolph border next to the golf range. It was in that station that Nancy and Peyton Knight began their long history of auto repair in the township.

That was 1983 and soon the Knights’ business grew and expanded. The humble gas station gradually morphed into a state-of-the-art ...

Orthopedic Urgent Care in Roxbury - Open Late and on Weekends

ROXBURY, NJ – It’s a pleasant Sunday morning, you’re playing volleyball in the back yard with the kids and – forgetting you’re not 17 anymore – you jump up to smack that ball.

Instead of feeling the satisfaction of an unanswered spike, you feel the stinging pain of a wounded ankle.

The only good thing about this scenario is that you live in Roxbury. That ...

Love of His Hometown Drives Roxbury Realtor Ted Miller II

ROXBURY, N.J. – Most local real estate agents can tell you what houses are for sale in Roxbury. Ted Miller can probably tell you what was there before the houses were built. 

Miller, a TAPinto Roxbury sponsor, grew up in the township and has watched it change from bucolic to bustling. The son of a local Realtor, ...

Three Sons at His Side, John Klein Makes Plumbing a Family Affair

ROXBURY, N.J. - Running water and a warm house during winter months are some of the most important amenities we enjoy -- and often take for granted -- in our homes.

With John Klein Plumbing & Heating, a TAPinto Roxbury sponsor, residents of Roxbury (and beyond) have a father-and-sons company they count on for reliable plumbing and heating services to keep the ...

Letters to TAPinto Roxbury

Roxbury Library Blood Drive Will Help 111 People

January 31, 2018

Dear Editor,

On Jan. 17, the Roxbury Public Library held its first American Red Cross blood drive. Despite snow and less than ideal driving conditions, dozens of area residents showed up to donate blood, nearly doubling the Red Cross' quota for the day! 

The drive was held in honor of local resident, Matt Adonis. Having a blood rive in his honor was a lovely way to bring awareness ...

Two From Roxbury Area Make Loyola Dean's List

February 22, 2018

BALTIMORE, MD -- Two students from the Roxbury area made the Loyola University fall 2017 Dean's List.

In order to qualify for the Dean's List at Loyola, a student must achieve a minimum QPA of at least 3.500 for the term, provided that, in the term they have successfully completed courses totaling a minimum of 15 credits.

The following local students have achieved this ...

Three from Roxbury Area Make James Madison Dean's List

HARRISONBURG, VA -- James Madison University is pleased to announce the following students made the dean's list for the fall 2017 semester:

Jordan Israel Taylor of Flanders .

Nicolette Thorkildsen of Flanders .

Olivia J Viparina of Ledgewood .

Students who earn dean's list honors must carry at least 12 graded credit hours and earn a GPA of between 3.5 and 3.899.

Totaro Makes Hofstra Dean's List

HEMPSTEAD, NY -- Julia Totaro of Mt. Arlington excelled during the Fall 2017 semester, achieving a GPA of at least 3.5 to earn a spot on the Hofstra University Dean's List.

Roxbury Area Students Named to the Marist College Dean's List

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY -- The following local students have been named to the Marist College Dean's List for the Fall 2017 semester:

Mariah Christian of Flanders is a member of the Class of 2018 and is majoring in Communication.

Jenna Ficula of Flanders is a member of the Class of 2019 and is majoring in Computer Science.

Erika Hofgesang of Kenvil, is a member of the Class of ...

Roxbury Area Students Make Clemson Lists

CLEMSON, SC - Kristin Elizabeth Agosta of Flanders has been named to the President's List at Clemson University for the fall 2017 semester and three other area students were named to the Dean's List.

Agosta is majoring in Accounting.

To be named to the President's List, a student must achieve a 4.0 (all As) grade-point average.

The three Roxbury ...

Roxbury Area Students Make Seton Hall Dean's List

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ -- Nineteen Seton Hall University students from the Roxbury area qualified for the Fall 2017 dean's list, according to the university. The students are:

Siddharth Bector of Flanders 

Nicholas Czipo of Wharton 

Gabriella DePiano of Ledgewood

Darrelle Dilangalen of Succasunna

Katherine Dolan of Flanders 

Kimberly Gong of Kenvil

Edward Guenzel ...

Press Releases

Assistance Programs Available for JCP&L Customers to Help with Winter Heating Bills

February 13, 2018

MORRISTOWN,NJ - As the cold weather continues, financial assistance programs are available for Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) customers who need help with winter heating bills.

Assistance to qualifying JCP&L customers is available through the Lifeline, Universal Service Fund (USF), Weatherization, Payment Assistance for Gas and Electric (PAGE) and New Jersey SHARES ... Named Partner of the Year by NJ News Commons

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - has been named Partner of the Year by NJ News Commons, a network of more than 230 news organizations across New Jersey.  The award goes to a journalist or news organization that showed overall excellence in their work for 2017.    

Joe Amditis, Associate Director of the Center for Cooperative Media, said TAPinto won the award ...