CAIRO — The American Legion, Department of Missouri is proud to announce that Charles Bridger Creed, of Cairo, has been selected as the 2014 Eagle Scout of the Year for the State of Missouri. This includes a $500 scholarship. He belongs to Boy Scout Troop 98.
Bridger is the 17-year-old son of Rodney and Jill Creed, of Cairo, and is a senior at Northeast R-IV School, in Cairo.
Bridger earned the rank of Eagle Scout on May 23, 2010, at the age of 13, when he was in the eighth grade. At the time of Bridger's application with the American Legion, he had earned 14 palms, or a total of 91 merit badges. Since he submitted the application, he has earned more, and now has 15 palms and 96 merit badges.
Bridge submitted the following about his Eagle Scout Project:
“I wanted my Eagle Scout Project to honor veterans. I live near the Missouri Veterans Cemetery in Jacksonville, Missouri. The cemetery is a beautiful location which serves as a great tribute and final resting place for veterans and their spouses. The Committal Shelter and adjacent pavilion at the cemetery overlook a large natural lake in which fishing is not normally allowed. My Eagle Project was a Fishing Tournament for Veterans at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery in Jacksonville. The Missouri Veterans Commission approved the Eagle Scout Project and allowed fishing in the lake for the Tournament.
“The Project took many months of preparation planning, and help from my family, friends, other scouts, and the community.
“All veterans and their families were invited to the Tournament, with special emphasis on inviting veterans who were in nursing or care facilities. I sent invitations to nursing and care facilities located within about a 50-mile radius of the cemetery and to all of the Missouri Veterans Homes. I personally visited all of the nursing facilities and senior centers in Macon and Randolph Counties to invite the veterans to the Tournament. If the nursing home was unable to transport the veterans to the Tournament, I made transportation available. My church had donated use of our church bus. Additionally, I publicized the event by appearing on a local Christian television station talk show, and through an insert in the local newspaper. I also sent invitations to all local, regional and state elected officials to attend the tournament and support the veterans.
“I solicited support for the Fishing Tournament from family, friends, local organizations and businesses. The response was incredible. Everyone was excited to help and support the veterans by giving them a special day, which would be free of charge to them. The veterans were all so excited. In addition to cash donations, other groups provided needed items for the event. The Missouri Department of Conservation provided fishing poles so that anyone who did not bring one would have one to use. The Missouri National Guard brought tents and military vehicles to display at the event, including a humvee, and also gave away National Guard gear to the participants. The Tournament also included a meal for the veterans and their families. My Grandfather and his friends donated fish and put on a complete fish fry for all of those that came to the Tournament. The VFW Ladies’ Auxiliary and the Cemetery Assistance League helped provide side dishes for the meal, in addition to food donations from many area businesses. “With other donations, I was able to purchase prizes for the Fishing Tournament winners. I also hired a jazz band to entertain during the Tournament, but in the end, they refused payment for their services. A local member of the Patriot Guard spoke at the event. The Bucklin, Missouri American Legion Color Guard and Honors Team assisted during the memorial part of the service. A Veterans Service Officer was present to provide veterans with information about benefits available to them.
“The Veterans Fishing Tournament was a great success with many in attendance. The man who had donated land for the cemetery came to the Tournament. He was a veteran who was living in a Moberly, Missouri nursing home. It was great to be able to talk to so many interesting people. After the event, I still had funds that had been donated. Those remaining funds were used to purchase a bench that now sits by the lake at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery in Jacksonville, Missouri, commemorating all veterans and the Fishing Tournament that was held in their honor on May 1, 2010.”
More information about Bridger:
Bridger is an honor roll student. He has been in band for four years, including marching, concert and pep band, where he is a percussionist.
He has played baseball for four hears of high school, participated in the school play for three years, has been on the Scholar Bowl Team for four years, and is a second year member of National Honor Society, just to name a few of his many activities.
Bridger is an active member of the Jacksonville/Cairo Unity Christian Church.
His future plans may include a career involving music, history, or Political Science. Bridges says, “Whatever my path, I hope to contribute to society and make the world a better place.”
Bridger is now eligible to be selected as the American Legion National Eagle Scout of the Year. He will be competing for the national scholarship award of $10,000. Only one Eagle Scout in the country will receive that scholarship. There are three additional awards of $2,5000 each as runner-up scholarships.