Kings Park Scouts raise funds for stolen 9/11 flag

Kings Park High School at 200 East Main Kings Park High School at 200 East Main St. houses students grades 9 through 12. It is the only high school in the Kings Park Central School District. (June 27, 2012) Photo Credit: Fran Berkman

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The Kings Park Cub Scout Pack 75 is being hailed for what school and community officials describe as a banner effort.

They have raised more than $1,700 to replace a flag memorializing 9/11 that was stolen from Kings Park High School.

More than 35 Cub Scouts, 5 to 11 years old, participated in the Nov. 10 car wash at the high school -- breaking out sponges and soap to raise the money, said den leader Jim Brauer, of Kings Park.

"It was nonstop. When we thought we would have a break, it just kept going," said Brauer of the more than 100 cars that were washed. "I couldn't be more proud of these boys and their families."

The pack also collected two donations -- $200 from Target and $100 from Dejana Truck & Utility Equipment in Kings Park, he said.

The fundraising helped purchase a new flag -- 20 feet by 30 feet, which cost $673, said Brauer. The remaining $1,103 was donated to the high school's food pantry, he said.

The pack presented the new flag at the Kings Park school board meeting last week, and played a photo slideshow of their community service project. Audience members stood to applaud. "Thank you for being who you are," said board president Marie Goldstein. "You are tiny role models to this entire community."

A large flag originally hung from the roof of Kings Park High School as part of an annual fall ceremony that students organized "to remember those who were lost on 9/11," said district superintendent Susan Agruso. The flag was stolen on Sept. 20, and police are looking for the culprits, who were captured on videotape.

"I was horrified," said Agruso. "It was disappointing to come by the high school and see that the flag was missing, and to realize that a couple of people got up on the roof and took the flag."

Brauer said the pack approached the district with the fundraising idea because they were "trying to undo a wrong with a right."

Thomas Driscoll, 9, of Kings Park, helped wash several cars. "I thought it was cool because you know that you're raising money to get a flag," he said, adding that the flag is important "because it represents the country."

Crime Stoppers of Suffolk County Inc., is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest of those who stole the flag, according to its website. Anyone with information can call 800-220-TIPS.

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