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Boy Scouts from country's oldest troop prepare for Brooklyn's Columbus Parade
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New Utrecht Reformed Church

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Eds: For photos, please contact the Friends of Historic New Utrecht at 1-718-234-9268 or 1-718-256-7173.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Parade Saturday, Oct. 9

BROOKLYN - Boy Scouts from Troop 20, the nation's oldest, touched up the famous 106-foot "Liberty Pole" on the front lawn of the New Utrecht Reformed Church in advance of Saturday's Columbus Day Parade. The marchers will end their parade, which begins at 1 p.m. on 60th St. and 18th Ave., at the spot where the first such flag pole was erected in 1783 to celebrate freedom from the British.

Seven scouts used a 14-foot ladder and a 12-foot extension to paint a section of the pole that had become worn from the weather and the rigging used to raise and lower the flags. "We had a generous donation of paint from New Age Paints on 18th Ave., one of our community partners interested in our Brooklyn history," Mr. Robert Buonvino, president of Friends of Historic New Utrecht, said. "And while the scouts were working on the pole and also painting a new Sunday School room for the church, Not Just Chicken on 86th St. supplied them with lunch."

"Especially at this time, community support is needed," Mr. Buonvino added, noting that the church building, dating from 1828, remains closed and in need of extensive repair and restoration. He said matching funds from the general public are needed as government funds become available.

At the "Liberty Pole," the parade's closing ceremony will include the playing of the national anthems of both the United States and Italy.

The New Utrecht Reformed Church, formerly Dutch Reformed, was established in 1677. It now stands on 18th Ave. at 84th St., in Bensonhurst, a short walk from where its original building was constructed, near 16th Ave., where the church's 1654 cemetery is still located today. Many school children and adult groups are given historical tours of the old Dutch burial grounds by the Friends organization.

Persons interested in the history of New Utrecht are invited to call 1-718-256-7173 or 1-718-234-9268 and to check the Web site at www.historicnewutrecht.org. Tax deductible contributions toward the historical restoration may be sent to Friends of Historic New Utrecht, 1831 84th St., Brooklyn, NY 11214-2914.


PR services donated by bhprEspeciallyForChurches October 2004


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