Vincenzo LaPilusa, creator of Bags of Hope, to become Eagle Scout

Sparta. He worked closely with Family Promise to determine the contents of the bags — sheets, blanket, pillow, towel, full bag of toiletries, socks, and a toy — for local homeless families.

Sparta /
| 14 Nov 2021 | 09:27

On March 14, 2021, Vincenzo LaPilusa of Sparta walked his final step to Eagle Scout confident, excited, and full of anticipation.

He began his road to Eagle in April 2019, after he decided that he wanted to make a difference in his community in a unique way. He called his Eagle project Bags For Hope.

On Dec. 12, 2020, when he presented 50 completed duffel bags packed with necessities for the comfort to local homeless families to Family Promise of Sussex County. The First Presbyterian Church of Newton, an affiliate of Family Promise, allowed Vincenzo to set up his assembly line. He worked closely with Family Promise to determine the contents of the bags — sheets, blanket, pillow, towel, full bag of toiletries, socks, and a toy. Extra donations included adults and children books, clothes, Bombas socks, more toys, and even a few bikes.

Vincenzo spent many hours reaching out to people to request assistance. The Covid-19 quarantine hindered his project’s momentum, but he remained undaunted. His commitment to helping Family Promise was his goal.

The family is planning a Court of Honor to celebrate Vincenzo’s Eagle rank on November 20 at Perona Farms. Even though Vincenzo’s father, Paul, will not be in attendance due to his unexpected passing, it will be a celebration of accomplishment and love, His father was Vincenzo’s biggest and best supporter, a very proud Eagle Scout Dad.

Thanks to contributors

Vincenzo thanks contributors to his project’s success: The American Legion Post 86, the sponsor for his Troop 85 in Andover-Newton; the late Tony Gallopo, former Newton American Legion Commander and former State Vice Commander; and Harry Kaplan, the current Sussex County Vice Commander; Colleen Duffy from the First Presbyterian Church & Family Promise Board member; Joseph Young, Chris Butto, and Nichole Reed from Family Promise; great friends Sebastian and Fernando Gomez; family, Adrianne, Paul, and Gina LaPilusa, his grandmother, Jean Asti; local businesses, Frank’s Pizza of Sparta, RJ Mars, the American Legion Post 86, Knights of Columbus St. Kateri, Elks Lodge of Rahway, the Elks Lodge of Union, Steve Lissner CPA, The Mitchell Agency, Minisink Press, NY Jets, NY Giants, Brooklyn Nets, NY Knicks, Bombas socks, and Jersey Mike’s; and the many individuals who donated out of the goodness of their hearts.

He joined Cub Scouts in the first grade, thrilled at the activities that being a Tiger offered, and he eagerly worked through his ranks, through Webelos, and earned his Arrow of Light. Scouting has proven to have been a positive influence on his life. He’s committed to providing his Daily Good Turn, always offering to help at home without question. He believes in being honest and trustworthy, as well as kind and caring. He’s a positive force with his sister and his friends. He lends a hand to people with disabilities, and shows compassion to animals too.

When his sister Gina completed her Gold Award by assisting BARKS in Byram, Vincenzo jumped in to nd ask what he could do.

He is continuing his journey in Scouting as a Sea Scout with Ship 243 in Rahway (already at Ordinary) and has just joined Venturing Crew 289. He is a consistent High Honors achiever at school, and is currently enrolled in the Engineering Shop at the Sussex County Technical School.

Vincenzo has earned all 138 badges, plus the following awards:
William T. Hornaday Conservation Pin
James Stewart Good Citizenship Award
BSA Mile Swim
BSA Kayaking
BSA Scuba
National Outdoor Awards for Aquatics, Conservation, Riding, Camping, and Hiking
The Jockey Hollow Trail and Victory Trail Medals
Denali Award
Ad Altare Dei
Pope Pius XI
Light of Christ and Parvuli Dei
Pillars of Faith Pin