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2017-12-05 / Front Page

Boy Scouts Honor Local Men with Annual Awards

By Lillian Browne


Michael O’Brien of Hancock was presented with the Leatherstocking Foothills District Award of Merit. O’Brien is flanked by Members of Boy Scout Troop 74. Pictured are, front row, from left, Tenderfoot Scouts Andrea Cotza and Richard Berry. Back row, from left, are Life Scouts Robert Salvistini, Michael Salvistini and Ryan Callan. Troop leaders Doug and Laura Turner are also pictured. 
Lillian Browne/The Reporter Michael O’Brien of Hancock was presented with the Leatherstocking Foothills District Award of Merit. O’Brien is flanked by Members of Boy Scout Troop 74. Pictured are, front row, from left, Tenderfoot Scouts Andrea Cotza and Richard Berry. Back row, from left, are Life Scouts Robert Salvistini, Michael Salvistini and Ryan Callan. Troop leaders Doug and Laura Turner are also pictured. Lillian Browne/The Reporter DELHI - Two long-time Boy Scouts who have served their communities in multiple ways, were honored at the Leatherstocking Foothills District annual Good Scout Award Dinner at SUNY Delhi on Nov. 30.

Michael O’Brien of Hancock received the District Award of Merit, for his achievements which include two terms as the chartering organization representative for the Hancock Rotary Club and Boy Scouts’ Troop 74. O’Brien received the “Scouter’s Key,” awarded to adults who create and/or maintain a quality scouting program. O’Brien is a merit badge counselor, has been an instructor for the University of Scouting and helped design a handicap accessible, barrier free tent frame for use at the Henderson Scout Reservation.


Honoree Tom Mills, left, participates in the Pledge of Allegiance led by Boy Scout Troop 74. Next to Mills is Delaware County Sheriff elect Craig DuMond. 
Lillian Browne/The Reporter Honoree Tom Mills, left, participates in the Pledge of Allegiance led by Boy Scout Troop 74. Next to Mills is Delaware County Sheriff elect Craig DuMond. Lillian Browne/The Reporter O’Brien remains actively involved in scouting and attends weekly Troop 74 meetings as well as camping excursions.

Accepting the award, presented by Delaware County Chamber of Commerce President Ray Pucci, O’Brien said he was both surprised and humbled by the award.

Presenting the annual Good Scout Award to former Delaware County Sheriff Tom Mills was Boy Scout Council Historian Don Tuttle, who presented the award with humor, including a handmade “Get out of Jail” card, usable one time only, which he tossed to the side saying, “I guess you don’t need this now.”


Council Historian Don Tuttle, left, presents Tom Mills with the Good Scout Award. 
Lillian Browne/The Reporter Council Historian Don Tuttle, left, presents Tom Mills with the Good Scout Award. Lillian Browne/The Reporter Mills accepted the award and praised the organization. “It’s taken good people and made them better,” Mills said of the Boy Scouts.

Mills was elected as Delaware County Sheriff in 1999 and retired in August 2017, due to what he said was “a minor health issue, but nothing serious.” Mills remarked that it was time for a change, referring to both his retirement and the desire to have young people involved in civic organizations.

A United States Marine veteran, Mills began his policing career with the Oneonta Police Department followed by a career with the New York State Police.

Mills was instrumental in starting the Scout’s Law Enforcement Explorer Post at the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office and is a member of the Leatherstocking Council Executive Board.

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